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East Herts Council Conservatives reject Liberal Democrat plea to condemn Prime Minister Boris Johnson

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East Herts Conservatives closed ranks to reject a Liberal Democrat motion calling on district councillors to record a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson.

The motion calling on the Prime Minister and Tory party leader to quit was proposed at a council meeting last Wednesday (May 11) by Bishop’s Stortford’s Cllr Chris Wilson and seconded by his party colleague Cllr Joseph Dumont, who serves Stanstead Abbotts.

It noted that the PM acted unlawfully, misled Parliament and lied to the country, and while he attended parties “millions of people, including countless East Herts residents, obeyed the lockdown rules, often at huge personal cost”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during PMQs (56642564)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during PMQs (56642564)

The Lib Dems called on the council to condemn the Prime Minister “whose disregard for his own rules itself represents a threat to the health of our nation, including residents of East Herts, as he failed to set an example for the country to follow”. They feared his conduct was a threat to rule of law and democracy.

Cllr Wilson spoke out on the eve of the Metropolitan police issuing another 50 fines over law-breaking parties in Downing Street and Whitehall, taking the total to 100, including penalties for Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Although the PM was not included in the latest round of fines, Scotland Yard’s investigation into 12 separate events alleged to have breached the legislation continues.

Cllr Chris Wilson (Lib Dem, Bishop's Stortford All Saints)
Cllr Chris Wilson (Lib Dem, Bishop's Stortford All Saints)

The Lib Dems said Mr Johnson’s flouting of the law had damaged the reputation of all politicians.

Cllr Wilson asked the council: “Is there anyone here who has not heard ‘You’re all the same’?”

He paid tribute to the sterling service of his Tory colleagues but said it was obscured by the “dishonest game-playing” of the PM.

He won backing from fellow Lib Dems, Labour and Green Party members, who voted for the motion, but no Conservative broke ranks.

Cllr Alexander Curtis (Con, Great Amwell)
Cllr Alexander Curtis (Con, Great Amwell)

Cllr Alexander Curtis, a Great Amwell member and former chair of Hertford and Stortford Conservative Association, said a vote of no confidence should be considered only when there was an alternative – and he claimed Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s position was arguably worse.

He conceded mistakes had been made but said the Government was performing well in other areas. He warned: “Opposition parties need to look closer to home.”

The political make-up of the 50-seat council is Con 39, Lib Dem 6, Lab 2, Green 2 and Independent 1.

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