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South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon pledges support for Boris Johnson amidst political turmoil

The MP for South Norfolk has pledged his support for Boris Johnson, saying the Prime Minister will ‘bounce back’ from the current turmoil engulfing Number 10.

Speaking to Diss-based broadcaster Park Radio on Friday, Richard Bacon said that the PM was the right leader to see the country into the new year – despite mounting criticism over his handling of the Downing Street party scandal and reports of infighting within the Conservative ranks.

When asked about the pressure being heaped on Johnson, Mr Bacon, who has served as the Conservative MP for South Norfolk since 2001, said: “I think it’s in the nature of the job – frankly it’s a very difficult job – you are going to get battered from all sides.”

Richard Bacon has served as MP for South Norfolk since 2001. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Richard Bacon has served as MP for South Norfolk since 2001. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

“Boris did something that people thought wasn’t possible – he got us out of the glue that was glueing our feet to the ground after the British people said very clearly in a referendum result that they wanted to leave the European Union, and we had the entire establishment of the BBC, the high-thinking newspapers and frankly some of civil service and the diplomatic core saying 'you don’t understand, it’s all too difficult'.

“I remember being on a street stall in Mere Street some years after the referendum result and a lady walked past me a took a leaflet, and we were having a chat about Brexit, and she said ‘you know what, I’m sick and tired of being told I didn’t know what I voted for, I knew exactly what I voted for, I voted to leave the European Union’.

“What Boris did was deliver that to create the opportunity for us once again – the ability for the people in this country to make our own laws, set our own taxes, issue our own currency, control our own borders and manage our own destiny, after very large numbers of very clever people said it was impossible.

“So I take my hat off to Boris, yes he’s going through a rough period, but he’s the sort of person who will bounce back and I have no doubt that he will.”

Whilst Mr Bacon did not directly address the Downing Street party that took place last year, his comments strike a very different tone to those of Dan Poulter, his Conservative colleague across the border in Suffolk.

Speaking last week, the MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, who represents areas including Eye and Framlingham, said a Christmas party would have been a “flagrant breach” of the Covid lockdown rules last year.

“It would be incompatible with having a position as a senior Downing Street official with a major role in devising and implementing Covid rules and restrictions and, at the same time, break those very same rules,” he said.

“While it is understandable that people sometimes do make mistakes about the Covid rules, a Christmas party would have been be a flagrant breach and, if it proves to be the case that a party took place, which was in breach of the Covid rules that were in place at that time, then it would be appropriate for the individuals concerned to resign their positions.”

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