Tom Hunt meets Boris Johnson as part of PM's 'charm offensive' on new MPs

Tom Hunt

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt had a 20-minute meeting with the PM as Boris Johnson fights for his political life. - Credit: House of Commons

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt was one of a number of the new intake to have a private meeting with the Prime Minister this week as he tried to shore up support in any confidence motion that may lay ahead.

Mr Hunt spent 20 minutes with the PM in Westminster - discussing the controversies over government parties during Covid restrictions and also issues like illegal immigration across the English Channel.

Some news organisations had described Boris Johnson "hauling in" new MPs for a private chat - but Mr Hunt said this was a meeting he had requested with the PM some time ago.

Mr Hunt said: “I can assure everyone I wasn’t ‘hauled’ into any office. The meeting was at my request. We discussed a number of different issues. This included the latest revelations over Downing Street parties.

"However, we also covered other issues such as the steps I believe the Government needs to take to tackle illegal immigration. I was with the Prime Minister for about 20 minutes or so.”

Mr Hunt felt the meeting was worthwhile, although he was still waiting to see the results of Sue Gray's inquiry before deciding what to do next.

He said: “It was a decent real conversation and I felt he was in listening mode. However, I’m still waiting for the report.”

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Earlier this month Mr Hunt issued a long statement outlining his disgust at the news of the parties in Whitehall and saying that at times Downing Street had resembled a Frat House rather than the centre of government.

However, he has always said he would wait until the publication of the Sue Gray report before making any decision on whether to support the Prime Minister in any confidence vote.

Fellow Suffolk backbenchers Dr Dan Poulter from Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and Peter Aldous from Waveney have both also said they would - although both have expressed deep concern about the reports of Number 10 parties.

The report is now not expected to be published until next Monday because few MPs are around Westminster until then - and the Prime Minister has pledged to make a statement to Parliament as soon as it is released.