Cotswold MP: ‘Boris Johnson must change approach or faces leadership challenge’

The MP for the Cotswolds has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face a leadership challenge next year if he does not change his approach.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was one of nearly 100 Conservative MPs to rebel against the Government yesterday over the introduction of mandatory Covid passes in nightclubs and large venues.

The new policy passed, as did mandatory vaccinations for NHS staff, the requirement to wear face coverings in more indoor spaces and removing the requirement to isolate and instead do daily Covid tests for fully vaccinated people who are contacts of a positive case, thanks to support from Labour.

Speaking to Sky News yesterday evening Sir Geoffrey said the number of rebels showed there was a ‘major division’ within the Conservative Party.

“I think now the Prime Minister really has to think very carefully about how he is going to reset his performance to actually govern with a united party because we all know what happens to disunited parties,” he said.

“I think he can do it, but it is going to involve a major change of the way he does things.

“The Prime Minister has got to realise he’s go to consult his party properly before bringing these sorts of measures to the Commons. If he’d consulted we would have told him the level of the opposition and told him how he could deal with this matter in a far more sensible way.”

Sir Geoffrey said Boris Johnson could even face a leadership challenge in the new year if he does not change his approach.

“He’s got to now be in some danger and he’s got to realise that. Because if he doesn’t realise that then he will be in much bigger danger,” he said.

“If he realises that he’s got it wrong and comes back in the new year and does things in a different way, consults the party more, then we’ve got a good chance of uniting.

“But if that doesn’t happen then we are in trouble.

“If this goes on… we’ve had a very bad month. I think some members of the party will be thinking to themselves we’ve got to have a change.

“But we’re not there yet. I’m still backing him but he’s got to change.”

Speaking about why he voted against the Plan B policies he added: “This element of compulsion is not the right thing to do. I think you should be asking individual citizens to take their own decisions.

“When they go to these big events sure they should have a lateral flow test, sure they should have all the vaccinations… I’ve no problem with that whatsoever.

“Where I do have a problem is every time we have a new raft of measures they are more authoritarian.”

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