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Barnet Tories back Johnson as government crumbles

None of the borough’s MPs are currently available for comment but two have indicated their ongoing support
By David Floyd

Pictured from left; Hendon MP Matthew Offord (credit parliament.uk), Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers (credit parliament.uk), and Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer (credit mikefreer.com)
Pictured from left; Hendon MP Matthew Offord (credit parliament.uk), Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers (credit parliament.uk), and Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer (credit mikefreer.com)

Barnet’s three Conservative MPs appear to be supporting Boris Johnson following a series of resignations from the government that began yesterday evening in response to the prime minister’s handling of allegations of sexual assault by a former minister.

Finchley and Golders Green MP, Mike Freer, appeared on the government front bench during prime minister’s questions (PMQs) this afternoon, suggesting that he remains in his junior ministerial post as parliamentary undersecretary of state for exports.

Chipping Barnet’s Theresa Villiers, who is a backbench MP, was called to speak during PMQs and asked the prime minister a question about Sadiq Khan’s oversight of policing following recent stabbings in her constituency. She asked: “Will the prime minister urge the mayor of London to start living up to his responsibilities as commissioner?”

This apparently supportive intervention suggests that she is still backing the PM.

Spokespeople for both MPs said they were unable to provide comments on their positions.

Fellow backbencher Matthew Offord was also unavailable for comment and has not currently offered any indication of his position on the situation. Last month, in explaining his continued support for Boris Johnson in light of the Partygate scandal, the Hendon MP said: “I do not condone the events that occurred in Downing Street – having friends who could not attend funerals during lockdown – but a sense of perspective is needed.”

It is as yet unclear whether his perspective has changed as a result of the latest developments.

Update: since the publication of this article, Mike Freer has now resigned from the government.

Further update: Theresa Villiers subsequently published a statement calling on Boris Johnson to resign. This went out shortly after news emerged that he had done so.


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