A cabinet minister has been ridiculed after he claimed no Conservatives in his constituency are critical of Boris Johnson.
Brandon Lewis said Tories in Great Yarmouth are “in full support” of the prime minister, despite 148 of his own MPs voting to remove him from office.
The PM has seen his personal approval ratings plummet in recent months as a result of the partygate scandal.
But appearing on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, the Northern Ireland secretary insisted Johnson remained popular throughout the country.
He said: “In 2019 people came out and voted for the prime minister, gave him an overwhelming mandate, which followed the mandate the Conservative Party gave him a few months earlier.
“He is somebody who consistently does well and wins elections and I’ve got to say, my constituents, my mailbox, is very clear that support is there for the prime minister.”
Presenter Sophie Raworth asked: “You don’t get criticism in your mailbox about the prime minister?”
Lewis replied: “Genuinely, the criticism I’ve had in my mailbox has been people I know are Labour supporters or are Labour activists in my constituency. What I’ve had generally on doorsteps and in my mailbox, and elsewhere in the country, is people want to see us getting on delivering for people and that’s what the prime minister is focused on.
I can only talk for my constituency – I’ve had people in full support of the prime minister. And actually, even today I’ve had supportive messages from the chairman of the Conservatives in Northern Ireland around the work the prime minister’s doing and we should get on with the job.”
The exchange was met with incredulity on social media.
Lewis had earlier insisted that legislation being introduced tomorrow by the government to over-ride parts of the Northern Ireland protocol will not break international law.