TORY MP Jesse Norman made a name for himself on Monday by publicising what has been widely-regarded as the most scathing letter sent yet to the 1922 Committee, expressing no confidence in his leader Boris Johnson.

He explained how he had supported the Prime Minister for 15 years, backing him as the mayor of London and then as Conservative Party leader.

But following the Sue Gray report into law-breaking lockdown parties at Downing Street and Whitehall, he decided he couldn’t take anymore and even accused the Prime Minister of putting the Union at risk. 

So, who is Jesse Norman and what did his letter say?

Who is Jesse Norman?

He has been the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire since 2010 and served as financial secretary to the treasury from 2019 to 2021.

Prior to his election, the 59-year-old was director of Barclays before leaving the City in 1997 to research and teach at University College London. He also ran an educational charity in Eastern Europe before this, immediately following the Communist era.

In January 2013, he was identified as a potential future leader of the Conservative Party by Bruce Anderson, former editor of The Spectator.

He has rebelled against the party before but is not regarded as a serial rebel. In 2013 he was sacked as a government adviser after abstaining in a vote on military intervention in Syria.

READ MORE: Will Boris Johnson survive no-confidence vote? Have your say in our POLL

What did his letter say?

Norman’s letter went far beyond complaining about partygate and got stuck into the Prime Minister on a whole array of issues, such as the privatisation of Channel 4 and the Government’s decision to send asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda.

On partygate

It was clear from his letter this was the final straw for Norman, as he described Johnson’s response to the Sue Gray report as “grotesque”.

He said: “You have presided over a culture of casual law-breaking at 10 Downing Street in relation to Covid. To describe yourself as ‘vindicated’ by the report is grotesque.

“I am afraid I can see no circumstances in which I could serve in a government led by you.”

On the Northern Ireland protocol

Norman then went on to rip into Johnson’s policy priorities and criticised him for plans to overturn the Northern Ireland protocol.

He said: “Both in the Queen’s Speech and elsewhere, your current policy priorities are deeply questionable.

“Breach of the Northern Irish Protocol would be economically very damaging, politically foolhardy and almost certainly illegal.

“You are leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, yet you are putting the Union itself gravely at risk.”

READ MORE: Vote of no confidence: Who is Sir Graham Brady?

On Rwanda

Norman did not hold back on criticising one of the most controversial Tory policies of the last few months, describing a decision to send asylum seekers to East Africa as “ugly” and questioning its legality.

He said: “The Rwanda policy is ugly, likely to be counterproductive and of doubtful legality.”

On Channel 4

The Government’s decision to plough ahead with the privatisation of Channel 4 – which is state-owned by commercially funded – has been widely slammed by independent production companies and politicians, and Norman decided to join the choir.

He said: “Privatisation of Channel 4 is an unnecessary and provocative attempt to address a political non-issue during a time of crisis, at significant cost to the independent UK film and TV industry.”

His closing remarks

Throughout the letter, you sense Norman’s despair over his party’s decisions has been building for quite some time, and he hides no emotion in his words to Johnson. In the second half of his letter he begins to slate Johnson’s manner and tactics, and the very direction he is leading the Government.

He added: “Under you the Government seems to lack a sense of mission. It has a large majority, but no long-term plan.

“Rather, you are simply seeking to campaign, to keep changing the subject and to create political and cultural dividing lines mainly for your advantage.

“Sensible planning has been replaced by empty rhetoric. As a former Energy Minister, I can tell you that there is, for example, zero chance that this or any government will be able to build a nuclear power station a year at any point in the next decade.

“Worse still: you are apparently trying to import elements of a presidential system of government that is entirely foreign to our constitution and law.

“Neither the Conservative Party nor this country can afford to squander the next two years adrift and distracted by endless debate about you and your leadership.

“I am withdrawing my support for you as leader.”