Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, an arch-loyalist of Boris Johnson, insisted “one or two” Tory MPs were waging a “coordinated” campaign against the Prime Minister over the Sue Gray report
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“One or two” Tory MPs are planning to oust Boris Johnson, Nadine Dorries said today – but she has “no idea” who they are.
The arch-loyalist spoke out as the embattled prime minister faced a persistent drip of hostile MPs from all wings of the Conservatives via Partygate.
Centre-right One Nation Tories, 2019 Red Wall MPs and veteran MPs are all among the 30 or so who have publicly called for Boris Johnson to step down.
However, Ms Dorries insisted there is “obviously a coordinated campaign in place”.
She told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One: “I can assure you that the overwhelming number of Conservative MPs are wholeheartedly behind the Prime Minister, absolutely supporting him.
“There is obviously, I think, probably spearheaded by one or two people, a behind-the-scenes campaign to try and remove the Prime Minister for individual reasons that have to do with personal ambition or other reasons.”
When asked who was behind the campaign, the culture minister said: “I have no idea.”
Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
She said the Partygate scandal had become a “Westminster-centric Westminster bubble issue” and that the public wanted “to move on”.
She added: “All I would say to my colleagues is that voters, the public, are not voting for divided parties and I don’t think we want to do both Labor’s and the SNP’s work for them .
“The people who most want to get rid of Boris Johnson are Keir Starmer and the SNP and I would just like to ask my colleagues to think about it and whether we really want to do the work of the opposition and whether we really think the public will vote for it becomes a party they think is divided.”
Asked whether Mr Johnson should repeat former Prime Minister John Major’s tactic of telling his party to “give up or shut up” and call a vote himself, Ms Dorries described it as “leniency”, adding: ” John Major was not dealing with a war in Ukraine, there was no Covid pandemic, times were not as tumultuous as they are now.”
So far, more than 25 Conservative MPs have publicly called for Mr Johnson’s resignation, less than half of the 54 needed to trigger a vote of confidence.
However, other MPs will have privately tabled letters of no confidence and about a dozen have voiced criticism of the prime minister without specifically saying he should resign.
The embattled Boris Johnson said today it would be irresponsible for him to quit over Partygate as he claimed the scandal had made government officials “miserable”.
The Prime Minister was keen to find out he was fined at his birthday lockdown party, which he attended alongside his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The Prime Minister is facing mounting pressure to resign from Tory MPs who have criticized his handling of lockdown busting parties.
Even his own ethics adviser, Lord Geidt, hinted on Tuesday that the Fixed Deposit Notice (FPN) he received from the Metropolitan Police may have breached ministerial law.
Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, threatened to resign unless Mr Johnson made a public statement about his conduct.
Asked if he had lost public confidence, Mr Johnson told Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts: “I’m not going to deny that the whole thing hasn’t been a totally miserable experience for people in government and we have to learn from it and understand the mistakes we made and we must move on.
Tory top backbencher Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 committee, said Conservative MPs must consider what “crimes” Mr Johnson “actually committed” before launching a coup.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “You really need to find out if this new Prime Minister is actually going to be a positive asset to the country compared to what you have at the moment.
“What he actually committed, what crimes he actually committed, and figuring out whether or not we should make a change.”
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has downplayed threats to the Prime Minister’s leadership and insisted there will be no leadership vote next week.
Mr Raab said “the Westminster bubble, Dorf” had fueled speculation about how many Conservative MPs had called for the Prime Minister to resign.
The Justice Secretary also said questions about whether the Prime Minister broke Ministers Law “were answered” as he backed the Prime Minister’s claim that he had no intention of breaking Covid laws.
The Tories have launched a series of measures to divert attention from their party’s dispute over the Prime Minister’s future.
When Lord Geidt threatened to sack him, Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed that the first removal flight to Rwanda will depart from the UK in two weeks.
Hours later, reports claimed Downing Street officials were considering Covid-style press conferences on the economy, with the Prime Minister and economic adviser discussing economic charts on TV.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/nadine-dorries-says-one-two-27125608 Nadine Dorries says 'one or two' Tories are planning to oust PM but she has 'no idea' who