Dangerous moments for Boris Johnson include by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton, which the Tories are expected to lose. The PM is also facing a damaging Commons probe
Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)
Boris Johnson launches a political blitz to try and walk away from the humiliating confidence vote that has divided his party.
In the coming days he will be making announcements on Brexit and housing as he tries to get back on track.
But the PM faces more conspiracies from mutinous Tory MPs who have vowed to continue their attempt to oust him.
A leading rebel told the Mirror: “This won’t stop until he’s gone because none of us have changed our minds.”
Among the moments of great danger facing the Prime Minister are the by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton, which the Tories are expected to lose.
He also faces a damaging Commons probe into whether he lied to Parliament about Partygate.
There has yet to appear to be an organized campaign against the prime minister, with a rebel branding the 148 MPs who voted against him in Monday’s vote of no confidence as a “bunch of dissimilar malcontents”.
Although the prime minister’s allies claimed the vote produced a “decisive result” and won the support of 59% of his MPs, critics urged him to resign and said his days in power were numbered.
One rebel, Tobias Ellwood, warned Mr Johnson will face another offer to oust him “within months” if he doesn’t turn things around.
Although party rules do not allow a second vote of confidence within a year, Tory grandees have suggested they can be changed.
Mr Ellwood said: “Unless real changes are reflected in the polls, the storm clouds will gather again.”
Another, Philip Dunne, who is close to potential leadership contender Jeremy Hunt, said: “It’s not over yet”.
A third, Andrew Bridgen, added: “Residual concerns across the party will linger.
“He should now go with honor and residual affection for what he has achieved.”
Some Tory rebels suggested they could use parliamentary procedure to make life difficult for the government.
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“The whips had better be ready for a guerrilla war,” one warned, although others said they were against the prime minister, not his policies.
Other MPs claimed that the prime minister would end up mastering his own demise.
“The only person who brings Boris down is actually Boris. We stumble from this shit to the next,” they added.
There was another blow to his authority when Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs he was still opposed to the windfall tax on oil giants, even though it was an important government policy.
Other names emerged from across the Tory party who had voted against the Prime Minister, including former Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green.
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However, Mr Johnson told his cabinet it was time to move away from the damaging internal strife that has seen him cling to power.
“Today, I promise to continue to deliver on those priorities,” he said.
“We stand with hard-working Brits and will continue to work.”
The prime minister also pledged to cut taxes and slash government costs in response to pressure from MPs.
He claimed the “basic conservative instinct” is to allow people to choose how they spend their money.
He also claimed that tax cuts would help boost sluggish growth.
Former Brexit Secretary Lord David Frost – now a critic of the Prime Minister – said the rebellion showed a change in policy was needed.
“The vote is a sign of a big problem and I think the big problem is that we are running an economic policy that will not bring prosperity and wealth,” he said.
“If we can change that, he can go down a different path and change the PM and the government.”
But a minister supporting the Prime Minister told the Mirror that a new set of directives – which are also set to include announcements on childcare and immigration – would not reverse Mr Johnson’s fate.
“My colleagues seem to think that we have problems because of a lack of politics. We’re not,” he said.
“We are fighting for one reason – the public has lost confidence in Boris Johnson.
“They bury their heads in the sand if they think we can get back on track with him at the helm.”
Election guru Sir John Curtice warned that the Tories’ big problem is that the public no longer trusts Mr Johnson.
“When polls keep telling you that the government, the prime minister, is not believed, you should sit down and pay attention,” he said.
The Prime Minister is under pressure from Cabinet allies to undertake a reshuffle of the junior ranks to bolster his authority – and to sack ministers who have failed to publicly support him.
But former Tory leader Lord Hague said Mr Johnson had faced a “greater level of rejection” than any of his predecessors and should resign.
“While Johnson survived the night, the damage done to his premiership is grave,” he added.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-rebels-vow-continue-bid-27172548 Tory rebels vow to keep trying to oust Boris Johnson 'until he's gone'