A SUSSEX MP who called for the Prime Minister to resign has said a confidence vote does not draw a line under concerns from backbenchers.

A majority of Conservative MPs backed Boris Johnson in a vote on his leadership earlier this week, but a large rebellion saw 41 per cent of the party’s MPs vote against him.

Following the vote, Prime Minister Johnson said his victory should enable the government to refocus on matters affecting the country, including the cost of living crisis.

However, Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, told Sky News that continuing investigations into the ‘Partygate’ scandal mean that it is not possible to bring the matter to a close and move on.

He said: “This has gone on for over six months and I can’t think of any other problem that has overhung a Prime Minister for so long.

“This started way before Christmas - we’ve still got the privileged committee report to come out at some stage, we’ve got the report into the handling of Covid, and various other things are still set to come out over the next few weeks.”

The Argus: Tim Loughton during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons last yearTim Loughton during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons last year

Mr Loughton added that the Prime Minister’s position would appear more “doubtful” if Labour leader Keir Starmer is also fined for breaching Covid restrictions and resigns.

“I fear this isn’t going to draw a line under it,” he said.

He told Sky’s Sophie Ridge that Johnson should reshuffle his Cabinet and not surround himself with loyalists.

He said: “If you go back to Ms Thatcher’s time, she didn’t surround herself with yes-men - it was people she fundamentally disagreed with but would take them on. We need more of that sort of debate in Cabinet.

"The margin was much tighter than most people had expected and I think he [the Prime Minister] needs to own that. He needs to say 'ok, we have a problem', which is why he needs to bring people inside the tent who have opposed him in some cases to try and get unity again."

Prime Minister Johnson faced Parliament for the first time yesterday after surviving the confidence vote in his leadership, with the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford comparing Johnson’s reaction to the vote to the knight from Monty Python.

He said: “No amount of delusion or denial will save the Prime Minister from the truth - this story won’t go away until he goes away.”