A Herefordshire MP has given Boris Johnson his backing amid the ongoing row over the Prime Minister’s conduct during lockdown.

North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin wrote on his website yesterday ahead of a debate on the issue in the Commons: “I have received, read and listened to many differing and interesting points of view from constituents concerning gatherings at Downing Street.

“It is right that the Prime Minister has accepted the ruling of the police, paid his fine and apologised.

“While I understand that many people will not, I accept the Prime Minister’s apology and will therefore continue to support his leadership.”

Citing a passage from the Gospel of Luke on forgiveness, he wrote: “I find it helpful when making decisions to know what Jesus said.”

He said he would not support an Opposition motion yesterday to refer Boris Johnson’s conduct to the Commons Select Committee of Privileges.

This comprises seven MPs, four of them Conservative, who also sit along with lay members on the Commons Select Committee on Standards, which Sir Bill has criticised in the past.

“I do not believe that the Committee on Standards is fit for purpose, and have recently given evidence to them on improving the processes,” he wrote.

In the event, the motion to refer the PM’s conduct to the Privileges Committee was approved without a vote. It will only begin its investigation after current police inquiries on the matter are completed.

Sir Bill’s Conservative colleague, Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman, has been approached for his view on whether the Prime Minister’s should resign.

But allies of Boris Johnson have lashed out at Tory MPs calling for the Prime Minister to resign after the House of Commons ordered a third inquiry into lockdown parties in Downing Street.

Senior backbencher Tobias Ellwood said there had been “a huge breach of trust” with the British people as he called on Conservative MPs to force a change of leadership.

But that drew a furious accusation of disloyalty from Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns, who said there is “no question” of the Prime Minister stepping down.

He said Mr Johnson is entitled to their support after leading them to a sweeping general election victory in 2019.

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