A donor who has given the Conservative party more than £3 million says Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign as he is past the point of no return.
Financier John Armitage said he thinks leaders should quit if they lose their “moral authority” and criticized the “lack of honor” in politics today.
Mr Armitage’s remarks come as Mr Johnson carried out a small ministerial reshuffle and a shake-up of how No 10 operates.
The Prime Minister is battling to maintain his position in the face of Tory unrest over the partygate row about gatherings in Downing Street during the coronavirus lockdowns.
Mr Armitage has donated more than £500,000 to the Tories since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister, but he has also given money to Labour, including £12,500 in March.
He told the BBC: “What do I think about what’s going on at 10 Downing Street?
“Look, I feel politicians should go into politics to do good for their country. And that is the overwhelming reason to be in politics.
“I don’t think it’s about your own personal sense of getting to the top of a snakes and ladders game.
“And I feel that, if you lose moral authority, and if you do things which… the average person – your mother, someone you try to explain to, someone who you admire – if you do something or say something, which on the front page of the Sunday Times looks terrible, and you do that consistently, and you betray a sense of not really caring, I think you should leave.
“And I find the lack of honor inherent in modern politics incredibly distressing.”
Asked if he thought Mr Johnson’s leadership was past the point of no return, Mr Armitage said: “Personally, yes.”
Mr Armitage, co-founder of hedge fund Egerton Capital, suggested that Mr Johnson’s attempts to change his administration are not enough to win back support.
“What about a sense of personal responsibility? You know ‘I’m going to change my chief of staff and it will all be fine’. Oh, really?”
The BBC said Mr Armitage has told the Conservative Party he will not be giving it any more money as things stand, but he plans to remain a member.
In response to Mr Armitage, a senior Downing Street source insisted that the Prime Minister remains “entirely focused on delivering for the British people”.
Mr Johnson will face MPs in the Commons on Wednesday after carrying out a limited reshuffle which saw Mark Spencer moved from chief whip to Leader of the Commons, with the previous holder of that role, Jacob Rees-Mogg, becoming Minister for Brexit Opportunities.
New Chip Whip Chris Heaton-Harris told BBC’s Newsnight: “I would like to think we have a very strong Prime Minister who is going to continue and get stronger and stronger and lead us into the next election, which we will win comfortably.”
Mr Spencer’s continued role in Government has raised eyebrows as he continues to be investigated over his role in MP Nusrat Ghani’s allegations of Islamophobia.
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