David Davis tells Boris Johnson 'in the name of God, go'

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Brendan Clarke-Smith said the Bury South MP’s dramatic switch on Wednesday had “galvanised” Conservatives behind the Prime Minister rather than having a “domino effect”. 

The Bassetlaw MP also said he had not been approached by Sir Keir Starmer’s party to cross the floor amid reports more Tories could follow Mr Wakeford.

Mr Clarke-Smith told Express.co.uk: “I’d say if anything the evidence of it is it’s actually sort of galvanised people more than anything.

“So it’s probably had the opposite effect of what I think Labour were hoping [that] there’d be some sort of domino effect.

“There are lots of people very annoyed at what happened. And rather than being angry, I’d say a lot of people were very disappointed.”

Mr Clarke-Smith’s comments follow reports MPs from the 2019 intake met on Tuesday to discuss Mr Johnson’s future in what was dubbed the “pork pie plot”.

But the Bassetlaw MP insisted he is awaiting the outcome of an investigation by civil servant Sue Gray into allegations of rule-breaking parties in Downing Street during Covid restrictions.

Mr Clarke-Smith added that he believes there has been an “overestimation” in the number of letters of no confidence submitted to 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady.

He said: “A lot of the MPs are falling behind the Prime Minister at the moment.

“People have said to wait for the Sue Gray report without jumping the gun, without being rash, and sort of concentrating on getting on with the job really.”

Mr Clarke-Smith added: “I don’t think a lot of people are very impressed when people defect to other parties, especially when they’ve not been elected with that mandate.”

The Bassetlaw MP noted Mr Wakeford had previously supported a backbench bill calling for MPs who change parties to face a by-election.

And he said Labour was “arguing between themselves again” after Mr Wakeford’s defection sparked a backlash from some activists.

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The Bury South MP, who won the seat in 2019 with a majority of just 402, announced he was joining Labour minutes before Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday in protest over partygate.

He told Mr Johnson “both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and Government this country deserves”.

Mr Wakeford had been one of seven Tory MPs to publicly call for the Prime Minister to quit.

Speaking in Bury today, he said the decision to defect to Labour was “not something I came to lightly”.

Mr Wakeford urged any former Tory colleagues thinking about following him to “give me a shout”.

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