To Sir Roger Hapless MP
Widget Bottom and Little Toading West
Dear Sir Roger,
You have so far been silent about the latest news surrounding Boris Johnson. You may still be undecided as to how to vote on Monday in the matter of the Privileges Committee report, although from our previous conversations I am fairly sure that you are supportive in principle of its findings.
I think it would be unfortunate if large numbers of Conservative MPs fail to vote in favour of the report. Clearly there is a deluded minority who have already declared that they will vote against, despite all the evidence presented in the report, and Mr Johnson’s wholly lawless behaviour since seeing it. I suspect that many MPs will choose to abstain. This would send out a signal that the matter of honesty is considered unimportant, or even that his parliamentary colleagues are prepared to tolerate Johnson‘s lies. Perhaps even worse, that they tolerate his demonstrations of blatant contempt, both in the legal and the literal sense, for Parliamentary procedure.
An overwhelming vote of cross-party support for the committee’s findings, on the other hand, would be a clear signal to Johnson that, like the British public, Parliament condemns his behaviour and wishes to see him out of public life, should he harbour any residual hopes of standing again. In addition, more importantly, it would be a demonstration of trust in established Parliamentary procedures, and it might even help to undo some of the massive reputational damage caused by the Owen Paterson debacle *.
As an experienced and widely respected member of the party, you are in a position to lead by example. I trust that you will not only vote to support the committee’s findings and sanctions, but that you will make your support widely known in advance of the vote.
Many thanks for your attention,
* After Owen Paterson was found guilty of misconduct in 2021, Johnson tried to rescue him by changing the rules, and over 200 Tory MPs voted to support an errant MP over the rule of law. The plot backfired and Paterson not only had to stand down but his safe seat was taken by the Liberal Democrats.
PS Sunday 18th June: Today Tobias Ellwood, live on air on the Sangita Myska show on LBC, announced that he had just changed his mind and would support the motion instead of abstaining. This in response to callers who told him how important this decision was to them. So it is not too late to email your MP with this message.