Ipswich MP Tom Hunt explains why he backed PM in confidence vote

Tom Hunt has yet to decided on how he will vote

Tom Hunt is writing to constituents to explain why he backed the Prime Minister in Monday's vote. - Credit: House of Commons

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has issued a statement to constituents explaining why he voted in support of the Prime Minister in Monday night's confidence vote despite his concern about some of the events in Downing Street during the pandemic.

Mr Hunt said despite these events he felt there was much that the Prime Minister had got right over the last three years and that it should ultimately be for the British people to decide whether he should remain in office in the next general election.

His message is being sent out as an email to constituents who write to him about the issue.

He says: "With regard to the confidence vote earlier this week on the Prime Minister, I must inform you that I decided to vote for the Prime Minister.

"The Prime Minister was elected with a significant democratic mandate in December 2019 and my sense has been that ultimately it will be for the British people, in a general election, to make the decision about whether or not his tenure is extended or not. 

"I appreciate that since his election a lot of water has passed under the bridge. There is much the Prime Minister has got right. In particular, the vaccine roll-out and his recent leadership on the Ukraine spring to mind. 

"Though there will be different views on Brexit, personally being the MP for a town that voted to leave the EU, I thought it was important that the referendum result was respected.

"And therefore, I do credit the Prime Minister with breaking the Brexit impasse. 

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"However, I really do appreciate the strength of feeling there has been regarding the Sue Gray report and the fixed penalty notice the Prime Minister received for attending a birthday gathering in the Cabinet room.

"I found the Sue Gray report a very difficult read. I, like many others, was angry and extremely disappointed with its contents and do believe it demonstrated real failings with the Downing Street operation that was in place at the time.

"I also completely understand and sympathise with the hurt felt by many of my constituents as a result of all this. They were right to feel deeply let down.

"Though I thought the Prime Minister was rather unfortunate to receive a fine for the event in question, I was appalled by the extent of rule-breaking by senior Number 10 officials throughout the pandemic.

"This should never have been allowed to happen.

"I appreciate that the Prime Minister has apologised for all of this, that none of the staff in question is still present at Number 10 and that the structure of his office has been transformed, but I still understand why so many of my constituents are so angry about the events in question and aren't prepared to forgive.

"We will all look at the issues in question in the round, the things the Prime Minister has achieved and the mistakes he's made and ultimately all come to our own conclusions about whether he should stay or go.

"Going into the vote earlier this week, my view was that ultimately the best way to do this would be at a future general election.

"However, I do think that Monday evening was a disappointing night for both the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party.

"The number of colleagues voting against the Prime Minister was significant (over 40%).

"Clearly, as it stands, the Conservative Parliamentary Party is far from united and the Prime Minister has a significant task ahead of him to heal the major divide that exists within the Parliamentary Party when it comes to his own leadership.

"Not only has the Prime Minister got a major job to do when it comes to restoring trust with millions of people up and down the country, and in my own constituency, but clearly he also has work to do when it comes to restoring his relations with his own MPs.

"I do also include myself in this number, despite the fact that I myself voted for the Prime Minister earlier this week. Clearly, the next few months will be crucial for the Prime Minister.

"I appreciate that during this time the government will be grappling with a number of major issues of profound significance to both our country and our town.

"The cost of living challenge caused by the after-effects of the pandemic and globally high inflation levels as well as the war in Ukraine.

"It’s important too to note that President Zelensky of Ukraine warmly welcomed the fact that the Prime Minister won the confidence vote earlier this week.

"Clearly both the Prime Minister and our own country are greatly valued by both the Ukrainian president and the Ukrainian people. This is something that fills me with pride. 

"As ever, I will continue to work as hard as I can to support my constituents and to represent the town as effectively as I can in parliament.

"Whatever happens in politics at a national level this will always be my number one priority. Each day I wake up I'm immensely proud to represent such a special place in parliament."