Scarborough MP Sir Robert Goodwill says he stands by Boris Johnson after he asked voters for 'alternatives'

The MP for Scarborough and Whitby said he stands by Boris Johnson, after a leaked email revealed he asked constituents to suggest who should be the next Prime Minister.

By Nathan Hyde
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 5:47 pm

Sir Robert Goodwill sent the email to around 20 people who repeatedly asked him to publicly condemn Mr Johnson for breaching coronavirus laws with his 56th birthday celebration in 2020.

The MP for Scarborough and Whitby told them there is "a whole mine of talent within the current cabinet who could potentially take over Number 10” and it “would be helpful if you could let me know which of the alternatives you believe would make the best Prime Minister".

In the email, he said Chancellor Rishi Sunak has "shown tremendous leadership and judgement during the pandemic", Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has "shown he can step into the breach when the Prime Minister is away" and Health Secretary Sajid Javid has got "tremendous skills and an amazing tack record".

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Boris Jonhson has received the backing of Sir Robert Goodwill. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images and Richard Ponter)

But Sir Robert told The Scarborough News he sent the email to "smoke out" those who only want the Prime Minister to be removed because they support other political parties.

"This wasn't a survey of lots of people to ask who I should support," said Mr Goodwill.

"The majority of people who came back said they wanted Keir Starmer, so their motivation for calling me to support moves to censure Boris were fairly clear."

The Conservative MP also said he does not want a leadership election, which could take several months, and he will not submit a letter of no confidence.

Sir Robert also said he accepts the Prime Minister's apology and he thinks the country should "draw a line under it and move on".

"With the current situation with energy supplies, the cost of living crisis, the refugee crisis and the multitude of other issues we’re facing, having a leadership election would be an indulgence which would not serve the country well," he said.

"We're behind the Prime Minister on his policy on sending economic migrants to Rwanda to have their claims looked at, we're behind the Prime Minister and the Chancellor on their economic policy and we very much think the Prime Minister has done the right thing in terms of Covid."

He added: "I think that, given there are no major policy issues and there are no major delivery issues in terms of the Covid pandemic and supporting Ukraine, I really don't think it's a good idea for us to have the distraction of a leadership election."

Diana Jeuda said she was one of the 20 or so people whom Sir Robert emailed.

She told The Scarborough News: "I am not one of the people who wrote calling for Boris Johnson to go. I didn't need to. He will have known that. I have been the Labour Party agent at three general elections.

"There is no point in stating the obvious.

"How come my name is on his list of 20?

"There's a short and discreditable answer. Because he's scrolled through his list of constituents and looked for people who would fall for his phoney request (I didn't). He was quite prepared to use a completely uninvolved constituent in his sleazy games."

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