Hart loses heart with prime minister


In the light of further controversy and questions about his integrity and ability to govern, it was no surprise when Boris Johnson resigned as leader of the Conservative Party this week.

Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye, had already released a statement on Wednesday withdrawing her support for the prime minister. In her statement she said; “Considering the further revelations that have come to light, and given that the integrity of Parliament must be upheld, on behalf of my constituents of Hastings and Rye I am no longer able to support Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister.”

Following Mr. Johnson’s resignation on Thursday morning, Sally-Ann Hart said; “I believe the prime minister’s decision to resign is the right one for him to make. As many of you will know, I withdrew my support from Boris Johnson due to issues surrounding the appointment of the former deputy chief whip and, since then, have watched as many of my colleagues did the same.

Whilst not a decision for me to take lightly, I remain firmly convinced that this was the correct decision for me to make on behalf of the people of Hastings, Rye, and the surrounding villages”

Speaking to Rye News, the local MP added: “Some of you may have heard that I no longer feel able to support Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party nor as prime minister. Many of you will agree with my decision, many of you will not; I feel that I have made the right decision on behalf of the constituents of Hastings and Rye, whom I believe deserve better than what we have all witnessed over the past few months.

“This has not been an easy decision for me as I have been loyal to the prime minister since I was elected in 2019, but I cannot bend any further. I firmly believe that he has got the big decisions right, delivering Brexit, steering the country through a pandemic, and leading international support for Ukraine. I have also felt that the country does not need the Conservative Party squabbling about internal matters whilst going through a very difficult time economically and that we should be focusing on these issues.

“Loyalty is really important, especially in politics. However, so is integrity. I admit to being very disappointed to find out yesterday that the prime minister was indeed made aware of a complaint as regards the former deputy chief whip, Christopher Pincher, and his historic inappropriate behaviour but nonetheless appointed him to a government position responsible for the welfare of MPs. I am disappointed that the prime minister was not honest about his knowledge of the complaint, and it took a former senior civil servant to challenge claims made by No. 10.

“My drive to do this job has always been about Hastings and Rye and my priority is to my constituents, party members, and local colleagues who have all worked tirelessly for residents. I will continue to do all that I can for our wonderful part of the country.”

The full monthly comment from Sally-Ann Hart can be read here.

Image Credits: Chris Lawson .

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  1. Well done to Ms Hart for standing up and speaking her disapproval of Mr Johnson aloud. One of the very first MPs to do so, I believe.

    I would admire and praise her more if she hadn’t voted so party-faithfully these last months for things like sewage discharged into our waters, for Tory sleaze, for financial cuts to the neediest, for deporting people to Rwanda… One has to wonder why the Pincher scandal roused her ire when so many other nasty policies did not.

    • She also voted against the recent no confidence motion in Johnson so contributing to
      allowing him to continue. Had that motion succeeded we probably wouldn’t be in the mess we are now in.

    • I wrote to her back in September 2020 regarding Mr Johnson’s apparent willingness to unilaterally tear up legislation (the Northern Ireland Agreement), that he had himself devised and entered into to ensure that Brexit was achieved. I suggested that such action not only reflected on his integrity, but the integrity and the credibility of the Nation as a whole, to both our European neighbours and indeed the world. She disagreed and supported him in such actions. If that is her ethical standard, then what hope?

  2. Wow. So only after a male MP apparently groped men on multiple occasions, did our MP withdraw her support of the Prime Minister. This is quite rich and to me, amazingly hypocritical. Our dear Prime Minister has led the way to allow more raw sewage and chemicals to be dumped into our rivers. Sally Ann Hart supported this. He has allowed a viscous Home Secretary, Ms Patel, to treat refugees as if they were Dracula’s plague bringing vermin to our shores. Sally Ann Hart is on record supporting Ms Patel. Johnson seeks to weaken the European Human Rights Act, co-authored by Conservative MEPs, that puts all of us at potential future risk. Sally Ann Hart supported that. He has supported a crime and policing bill that will arrest and jail people for demonstrating against policies and laws they feel to be unjust, eroding democratic principles in one of the oldest democracies in the world. Sally Ann Hart. Opted in favour. Johnson and Truss have broken international law regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol which this country negotiated two years ago. This was enthusiastically supported by Sally Ann Hart in her parliamentary speech. Johnson has publicly insulted Muslims, gay and lesbian people, and women and not a peep out of her. The moral compass of this Prime Minister has been off for quite some time but all our MP did was make supporting speeches in Parliament. Not once on her website or in a press release did we see any critical appraisal or criticism of Johnson. Even when RNLI volunteers were horribly verbally abused in Hastings for rescuing refugees, we heard nothing from her.

    I believe in loyalty too but I also believe in honesty, decency, integrity and the rule of law. For me it’s always country over any political party. Our MP is one of many MPs who have enabled a reckless man to continue in power thus weakening this great country. Our former MP, Amber Rudd, had the courage to disagree with Johnson and followed a higher moral compass. Our district deserves better.

  3. You withdrew your support but didn’t actually resign or call for his resignation. Up until around 48 hours ago you were right behind him. Did you simply follow the herd?

  4. And finally! Although methinks it is more about trying to save her seat in a couple of years time, as surely not even the most Conservative of conservatives could vote for someone who continued to support the rather un-conservative Johnson?

  5. Spot on everyone in the previous comments. See there is no comment on the bizarre notion that BJ should be allowed to continue until October!

  6. I can add nothing more to Paul’s excellent summary. I have seen no evidence that Ms Hart has ever challenged the breaches of national and international law, wholesale lack of principles and moral integrity that has been the hallmark of Johnson and his cronies for so long. As a lawyer, I have long given up trying to work out how, as a solicitor, she has managed hitherto to square her conscience and her professional duty to uphold the rule of law with this seemingly endless parade of shame on our country.

    • Sadly the Conservative party is full of MPs with legal training, solicitors and barristers, who seem to forget all of it upon arrival in Westminster. In the last few days we have had Raab who does not seem to understand the word guilty; we have had Buckland who in the space of 12 hours loses confidence in the prime minister then accepts a ministerial position; and Braverman who thinks she can campaign to be PM and provide impartial advice to cabinet at the same time.

  7. So Paul Camic, has not a good word to say about Boris or his government, despite being first in line in bringing us the vaccine inoculations ahead of his beloved EU.and secondly bringing us out of Lockdown, despite Captain hindsight wishing us to remain in, some people sadly have short memories, when it suits.

    • Hello John. Not sure why bring the EU or my memory into this discussion as it has nothing to do with Ms Hart or Mr Johnson’s moral compass. And yes, I actually do have a few positive things to say about our current PM. He has continued to speak up about the climate crisis and has set ambitious targets to reduce our carbon emissions even with tremendous opposition from many Tory backbenchers in his party and by Mr Sunak. Whether the next PM will follow through is unknown. He has also shown tremendous support for Ukraine and has been a leader in the fight against Putin and Russian fascism. And thirdly, he criticised the US Supreme Court in overturning Roe and removing a constitutional right for American women to have an abortion. But his lying, deception, general behaviour in office and all the things I previously stated lead me to the position that he is truly unfit for office. Morals in life and in politics matter to me. Our county deserves a stable, honest, consistent, respectful prime minister. We’ve got that with Her Majesty and should have that in a PM.

      • “and has been a leader in the fight against Putin” – by failing to prevent Putin’s chums purchasing vast swathes of property in the UK and gladly accepting their enormous donations to the Conservative party? And then there’s the matter of the Lebedevs, pere et fils, and reports in the last few days that Johnson, after eluding his security detail to attend a Lebedev party in Italy, then agreed to take part in a highly prohibited unmonitored phone call with the Russian foreign minister (a call which only failed to go ahead because Johnson allegedly overslept). Johnson is a threat to national security and an absolute menace on the world stage every day that he remains in office.

  8. I was a Labour councillor and whip for twelve years, in control and opposition, in the London Borough of Ealing which included the old boroughs of Acton and Southall. In that period I cannot recall a time when I felt I could not believe or trust what my opposite number in the Conservative group was saying during inter party discussions.
    The evidence of contrary behaviour during the three years of the now de facto “Acting” (something he has been doing all his life) Prime Minister’s regime, provides a stark contrast to the integrity and probity I was fortunate enough to experience.
    There is no doubt that standards of behaviour in public office have deteriorated over the years – we can only hope that Conservative M.P’s, and ultimately the party members who will have the final say, will choose a leader who will put country before self interest and set a rigorous standard for those he or she appoints to responsible positions.
    Given the voting pattern of the present incumbent listed by Paul Camic, Ms Hart will no doubt recuse herself from such ambitions.

    • Hi Christopher
      I agree that back in the day honesty and loyalty came first. Now I think mostly MP’s (all parties) are driven by social media. We need a strong but with compassion leader…we do have some of those in the conservative party and hopefully two will be chosen soon to give me a choice.
      I think Boris will get a better press from history. All he has been for the last nine months is a lightning rod for all the pain caused by covid.
      Yes he was elastic with the truth but he was a strong firm leader brought down by the constant drip, drip by the BBC and the press (primarily the Daily Mirror and Guardian) to do what has to be done will need a very strong hand.

      • I think you’ll find the Express, Telegraph and the Mail have supported Brexit and Johnson. The BBC report the news and despite the popular culture of it being bias, it’s not. If you want bias news to suit your right wing views watch GB News

        • A point well made by Steve

          Guardian circulation 105k
          Daily Mirror 313k


          Daily Mail 860k
          Daily Tel 317k
          Daily Express 205k
          And don’t forget
          The Sun 1,200k.

          That’s 418 k circulation critical of the Tory drummed out of offices by his own party.

          Against 2,500 k circulation of rags who slavishly doted on a disgraced individual who even his own MPs couldn’t bear.

          Far from being hounded from office by a critical media he was indulged by a slavish sycophancy of the worst kind and kept in office for years past his obvious sell-by date by these papers’ total absence of anything that called be a moral compass.

  9. A bit too late. It’s more about hoping to save your job at the next election. SomeTories (a small minority) had reservations early on in the Johnson era, those are commendable, but all the others who stood by and watched, supporting his lies until the game was up have no other interest save that of hanging on to their seats.

  10. Her words ring hollow, I’m afraid. My partner corresponded with her on a number of occasions concerning the famous Barnard Castle incident and then subsequently about Johnson himself. Every response she wrote backed Cummings and Johnson to the hilt, never once conceding that either man had lied or misled parliament. I suppose the recent Tory byelection defeats must have given her cause for concern regarding her own rather modest majority and perhaps that’s why she’s now beginning to distance herself from Johnson. But it’s too late in the day for that. She has endorsed Johnson’s falsehoods, her voting record speaks volumes and I sincerely hope she loses her seat at the next general election.

  11. Unfortunately not many have mentioned the so called experts who are supposed to give Johnson expert advice!! And who would take over from him, the mind boggles.

  12. In 2019. I paid £10 to join the Conservative party, specifically to vote against Boris becoming leader. I lost, I resigned. Should have asked for my money back!

  13. Setting aside the politics for a second, the thing that concerns me most about this thread is the tone of total despair… We all have to remember that if we lose faith in Democracy, there’s not much left but the law of the jungle. It may sound melodramatic, but it really is the only thing that stands between us and tyranny. If we don’t like what’s happening with our politics, we have to wrest it back. That means we can’t recoil from it in disgust – as well we might – we all have to get much more involved. The truth is, we’ve become totally complacent about Democracy. And right now, we’re going to get a new PM without any one of us having any influence at all upon who that person is. They will essentially have dominion over our lives and yet the contest will be determined by which of the multi-millionaires in cabinet has the most effective connections with the media and which can afford the best PR agency – literally… So, forget the relative credits and debits of Mrs Hart’s performance, she, with respect, is a minnow in the political game. We need a wholesale change in British politics, starting with the electoral system and going on to deal with transparency, lobbying and ethics.
    In the meantime, the least we need to do is stay engaged and get out and vote. But there are plenty of smart, decent people in this constituency who could do a lot more than that. Remember, if you don’t like something, you have to change it.

  14. I agree with some of the comments about our MP Sally Ann Hart,
    It wasn’t so much as the Herd more like the sheep following the Flock, one by one stabbing the PM in the back.
    According to the Sunday mail +poll 77% believe Tories will regret forcing Boris out.
    Time will tell ?.
    Vic v

  15. I’ve read all the comments and Paul Camic makes some valid point which are agreed with by the majority, one thing that does make me wonder, who voted for her?

  16. Some definitions of “politic” are artful, shrewd, crafty, cunning. So why are we surprised when players of the game display a flare for these requisites? Regardless of our personal political leanings there has not been a PM for a very long time who possessed integrity, charisma + courage together with a healthy majority who didn’t, in the end, compose their own downfall. In the spirit of the mantra “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, we should be able to expect those we elect to hold the powerful to account and not hide their dirty linen for them. It’s to do with principles and integrity, plain + simple.

  17. I do like the comment from Tony Hills, who appears to think that the drip, drip, drip, from the BBC, Mirror and Guardian, in particular led to the downfall of the PM. However, he has not departed yet. Although Tony Hills mentions the “press” as well as the above, I find it strange that he fails to see the support the PM has received for years from the Murdoch, Rothermere and Barclay owned press. They have been unstinting in their support. Murdoch, a Non-Dom I believe, pulled the story about Johnson in the Times and the Sun never wavered from supporting Johnson; Rothermere, another Non-Dom with all his business interests overseas and “tax efficient” has, through Editor in Chief, Paul Dacre, been supporting Johnson and was still supporting him after he had resigned. It is interesting to note that the current Lord Rothermere’s grandfather was a great admirer of Adolf Hitler: that ended well. The Barclay brothers, owners of the Telegraph, or Borisgraph as it is known, have given him space both as a journalist paid £175k a year for a weekly column, which Johnson stated was chicken feed, and as PM. I am sure other journalists would have been pleased to have such a salary for so little. I remember, I think it was Max Hastings, saying that those who did not know Boris Johnson, liked him, those who did, didn’t. It is no surprise that things have come to where they are, all those with knowledge of him, knew it would end in disaster, yet they allowed it to happen for short term gains. The BBC is being cowed by threats of cutting or controlling its funding and Nadine Dorries, is just so ignorant, as shown by her comments about C4, that one fears for the BBC, one institution, for all its faults, envied and admired around the world.
    I am delighted that Rye News allows Ms Hart to use it for her political campaigns and promotion of her views. It gives a chance to all those above, and on other pages in Rye News which have her views, a chance to correct matters. I, for one, am heartened that there are so many who are willing to engage and state positive criticism of the current situation. It is very healthy and gives one hope. I look forward to more of her press releases in Rye News, in order for this to happen.


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