'Something must change': Black Country MP in parting shot to Johnson as she quits PPS role

Nicola Richards MP has quit her assistant ministerial role, saying she does not want to be associated with the "poor judgment" of Boris Johnson's administration.

West Bromwich East MP Nicola Richards
West Bromwich East MP Nicola Richards

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the West Bromwich East MP said the Conservative Party had become "unrecognisable" and that something needed to change.

She was followed shortly afterwards by Stafford MP Theo Clarke, who resigned as Trade Envoy to Kenya.

Announcing her resignation as a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the Department for Transport, Ms Richards described her decision as "tough", but said she "will always remain loyal to my constituents and the Conservative Party".

Ms Richards wrote in her resignation letter: "At a time when my constituents are worried about the cost of living and I am doing my best to support them, I cannot bring myself to serve as a PPS under the current circumstances, where the focus is skewed by poor judgment that I don't wish to be associated with.

"I am loyal to my constituents and will always put them first. I am also loyal to the Conservative Party, which is currently unrecognisable to me.

"I believe something must change."

Nicola Richards' resignation letter

Ms Richards was elected as the first ever Tory MP for West Bromwich East in 2019, when she replaced former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson.

The former Dudley councillor, who backed Mr Johnson in a confidence vote on his leadership last month, has become the first Conservative MP in the Black Country to speak out against the PM.

In her resignation letter, Stafford MP Theo Clarke she had lost confidence in Boris Johnosn's leadership and branded his administration a "debacle", and made it clear his handling of the scandal surrounding Mr Pincher was central to her decision.

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne was one of the rebels in last month's confidence vote.

Their decisions follow the Cabinet resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid as Chancellor and Health Secretary respectively.

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