A defiant Boris Johnson clings to power and insists he will not resign even if his enemies in the Tory party force a vote of confidence in his leadership.
The prime minister is determined to fight back, boosted by an apparent split among Tory conspirators over when to launch their coup and on who should succeed him.
Johnson’s allies also believe that the departure of Bury South MP Christian Wakeford may have gathered some shaky conservative backers behind the challenged prime minister.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
The report, by senior official Sue Gray, is now expected only next week, and the prime minister’s allies will now put massive pressure on the rebels’ MPs to wait until then before striking.
Boris Johnson begins fightback
And as the prime minister struggles to survive, some MPs estimate that the number of letters to 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady demanding a vote of confidence is now around 30, still far from the 54 required to trigger a vote.
The Prime Minister himself, meanwhile, was in a discouraged mood in a TV interview on Tuesday, is now said to be ready to go out and fight against his enemies and is said to have said to allies: “Bring it on.”
But after trying to buy up rebels with “red meat” policies such as to drop the COVID Plan B rules, attacking the BBC and sending gunboats to the English Channel, Mr Johnson is now facing a tax settlement.
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The rebels are now demanding a complete overhaul of the bitterly controversial tax increase of £ 12 billion a year, through increased contributions to national insurance to fund health and social care, in return for their support.
“In the name of God, go!”
In the midst of the feverish mood, Senior Tory MP David Davis, who sensationally said to the Prime Minister on the Prime Minister’s question: “In the name of God, go!”, Has also turned up Mr Johnson.
The former Brexit secretary has now told The Daily Telegraph that the Conservative Party is facing “dying a death with 1,000 cuts” and suffering a year of pain “unless it changes leadership.
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Which Conservative MPs have called on the Prime Minister to resign?
Toxicity to PM spreads throughout the lot
Davis’ bombing of Mr Johnson in the Commons came at the end of a PMQ that began with Labor MP Mr Wakeford dramatically crosses the floor in Commons and jumps off to Labor.
When voters in his constituency of Bury South wake up with a Labor MP just two years after Mr Wakeford was elected Conservative, Labor will try to slam its benefits into the city.
Labor is trying to exploit Tory chaos
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves will give a speech in Bury in which she attacks the government on the cost of living and reveals Labour’s plans to tackle it.
“We have a choice,” she would say. “We can continue with the same approach.
“Or we can do things differently, with an approach based on bringing people together in a national effort and on the understanding that Britain’s real wealth exists, not in the bank accounts of friends of the Conservative Party, but in the efforts and talents of millions of working people.
“Under Keir Starmer’s leadership, Labor has changed, but so have the Conservatives. The Conservatives once called themselves the business party. But that’s a distant memory.”
For the Prime Minister, the next few days will be crucial, with his team desperately hoping there will be no more devastating revelations this weekend about parties in Downing Street.