Starmer says Tory leadership race shows party is 'totally dysfunctional'

A Labour MP has slammed the Tories for not giving Johnson the boot sooner.

Speaking on BBC Question Time, Chris Bryant listed numerous problems with the outgoing PM before labelling him a "wrong 'un".

He said: “I’m absolutely shocked that they kept this man in place for so long. What was it they didn’t spot ages and ages ago?

“I mean, it wasn’t just the lying to the Queen about suspending parliament illegally. Or the partying and then lying about it. Or trying to tear up the rule book to protect his friend Owen Paterson, who had been found to be lobbying other MPs on behalf of his paying clients, who were giving him more than £100,000. Or appointing a person he believed to be a sex pest to a senior job in the whips’ office.

“I mean, what was it they didn’t spot in all of that process?"

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Addressing Bim Afolami, who resigned as vice chairman of the party on live TV before Johnson resigned: "And I say to Bim, who I am immensely fond of, I don’t know why you stayed in post so long.

“You knew he was a wrong ’un. You knew what he was doing to politics in this country. You knew it. And yet, you stayed.”

He finished: “Why on earth did all these people – and Rishi Sunak and all the others – why did they defend him?”

Afolami responded that Partygate was "the principal issue" that created an "erosion in trust" but Johnson had apologised and won a no-confidence vote. He added Johnson had asked for “a chance to rebuild trust ... we gave him that chance” in June.

He continued: “The issue with the former deputy chief whip (Chris Pincher), I felt that that was an example of some of the similar behaviours that we’d seen and, therefore, I didn’t feel that things were getting better and I thought they were not improving. Therefore, I felt that I should resign.”

Johnson resigned last week and a Tory leadership campaign immediately got going. Those battling out after two rounds of voting eliminated a few hopefuls are Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat.

Anyone but Johnson.

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