'Safe pair of hands' Boris the right man to lead the country, says Tory Dudley MP

A Black Country MP has told critics to lay off Boris Johnson as he insisted the PM was the right man to lead the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is the right man to lead the country, says Marco Longhi MP
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is the right man to lead the country, says Marco Longhi MP

Marco Longhi has leapt to the defence of his embattled boss, who is facing calls to resign after he was fined for breaching lockdown rules.

The Dudley North MP has joined other Tories across the region in backing Mr Johnson, saying he should be left to get on with running the country as it deals with "serious problems" at home and the war in Ukraine.

Mr Longhi also questioned whether the Metropolitan Police were right to dish out fines to Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Opposition political leaders and groups representing bereaved families are among those to call for the pair to stand down after they were issued with fixed penalty notices for attending a birthday bash for the PM in No 10.

Mr Longhi told the Star: "We are clearly facing serious problems at home and abroad, and it is only people who are politically motivated who want to remove the Prime Minister and the Chancellor for their own gain.

"From what I can see, there was an occasion where the PM received people in his office while he was at work. Should that have happened? The police say not – and their interpretation is one that I don't necessarily agree with.

"Should someone lose their job over it? Absolutely not.

"There are MPs who have done far worse and nothing has happened to them.

"What's more important here is that we run the country with a safe pair of hands. Boris is the right man for the job. He is getting us through Covid and leading the country as we deal with the proxy war in Ukraine.

"He should now be left to get on with it."

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi

Dudley South MP Mike Wood said a Tory leadership contest would be bad news for the country.

The Conservative MP said: "The rules are the same for everybody and penalties must be the same for everybody. Police have issued fines and those fines have been accepted and apologies made.

"The UK's interests are best served by the PM getting on with the job and addressing urgent challenges here and abroad, not by a long party leadership contest."

Wolverhampton South West MP Stuart Anderson has also backed the PM. He said: "It is important that the situation around the issuing of fines is taken seriously. People have sacrificed so much over the last few years.

"Boris Johnson has stressed the seriousness of this issue and has already implemented changes. I continue to support him in doing this."

Across the city, Wolverhampton South East Labour MP Pat McFadden said the PM is hoping to cling on to power by "dragging everyone down to his level".

The Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "The PM won't feel shame – he thinks that's for others.

"He'll be working out if he can survive by hoping the public think all politicians are the same anyway. Dragging everyone down to his level is always the calculation."

Meanwhile Conservative Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has faced criticism for suggesting that teachers had a “quiet drink” in the staffroom after a long day, as he defended the Prime Minister over partygate.

Mr Johnson is understood to have spent nine minutes in the Cabinet room in June 2020 while colleagues wished him happy birthday, a few months after he had been hospitalised with Covid himself.

He has apologised after being fined, and said: "I want to be able to get on and deliver the mandate that I have, but also to tackle the problems that the country must face right now."

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