JAKE BERRY has again leapt to the defence of Boris Johnson, this time praising the prime minister for his "brave leadership" while claiming a senior Tory calling for his resignation had "misjudged the mood of the party".

The defection of Bury South MP Christian Wakeford to Labour on Wednesday (January 19) appeared to have led some Tory MPs gunning for Mr Johnson to resign to back down as the party rallied together, though senior Conservative David Davis told the Prime Minister to "in the name of God, go" in the Commons.

However, health secretary Sajid Javid said Sue Gray, the senior civil servant inquiring into the Downing Street lockdown parties which have led for calls for Mr Johnson to resign, should now be given the "time and space" to complete her report.

Rossendale and Darwen MP, Mr Berry, told TalkRadio this morning: "As chairman of the Northern Research Group, I spend all of my time talking to backbench colleagues about their views.

"I don't know how much time David Davis has spent doing that, but in my view as someone who speaks to 70 or 80 colleagues every week about things that are happening in parliament, he has misjudged the mood of the party."

Mr Berry went on to tell Julia Hartley-Brewer that Boris Johnson had "judged the mood of the country correctly" with a near-total removal of Coronavirus restrictions.

He said: "People ask why do I back Boris Johnson to remain leader of our party and it's for exactly this sort of reason.

"On the big calls, when it comes to effectively dismissing the evidence from the experts and keeping Britain's economy open over Christmas, on those big calls, he makes the right decision.

"Yesterday, he showed real bravery in terms of his leadership through Covid and it paid off. I think many people all over the country are saying thank goodness we can start to return life to normal as quickly as possible."

On partygate, he added: "I think it's only right that we wait to hear the findings of Sue Gray in her report and I think there will be many more facts in there which will shed light on the activities and decisions made in Downing Street, more than many of us know about. I think we should reserve judgment until then.

"Many of my constituents just want to forget about Covid."