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‘Nobody wants to step forward’: Tory rebels fear failure to organise plot will let Boris Johnson escape leadership vote

Conservative MPs hoping to pressure a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson concern the failure of a pacesetter to step ahead to organise a problem will permit him to flee.

Insurgent Tories have instructed The Impartial of their rising despair at colleagues refusing to “confront” the disaster of their celebration – highlighting the absence of a figurehead to coordinate a marketing campaign and rally doubters.

One former minister expressed astonishment that Mr Johnson had averted a reckoning regardless of “disastrous” native elections outcomes, however warned: “There is no such thing as a management, no person needs to step ahead.”

A second echoed that “no person needs to be seen as a pacesetter” of a plot, including: “Colleagues know it might’t go together with this, however all people appears at their ft after I ask what we’re going to do.”

A 3rd stated there have been hopes that Jeremy Hunt, the defeated 2019 management candidate – who opposes a contest whereas struggle rages in Ukraine – would communicate out, asking: “Who’s going to steer the letter-writing?”

One other former minister has instructed their constituents that the push to topple Mr Johnson has “failed”, as a result of fellow MPs have stayed silent.

The Impartial was instructed of a current personal assembly the place a bunch of Tory MPs “bitched about Boris”, solely to affix within the laugher when the prime minister joined them and cracked jokes.

There’s a concern it is going to be unimaginable to defend Mr Johnson on the doorstep if Keir Starmer is fined over his beer-and-curry gathering in Durham final yr and resigns.

“How will I face my constituents if Starmer has stop – however our chief, regardless of a number of fines, continues to be there?” one of many former ministers stated.

Jeremy Hunt is towards a management contest whereas the struggle in Ukraine is occurring

(PA Archive)

The rising frustration comes after the occasion lengthy thought most definitely to set off a management problem – an elections mauling – got here and went, but the prime minister’s place seems protected.

His aides are stated to be “buoyant concerning the future” and consider the prime minister is near being out of hazard as a result of “the sky hasn’t fallen in”.

The Conservatives misplaced nearly 500 seats and management of 12 councils within the 5 Could elections – one of many celebration’s most dire performances and worse than most predictions.

However solely round 15 Tory MPs have referred to as for Mr Johnson to go, or revealed they’ve submitted letters demanding a no-confidence vote, and the tally has not risen because the ballot outcomes.

Some 54 letters are wanted to set off the vote, after which the prime minister can be compelled to resign if he did not win the assist of greater than half of the celebration’s 359 MPs.

Many MPs say they’re ready to see whether or not he receives extra police fines for the No 10 Covid lockdown events and Sue Grey’s closing Cupboard Workplace into the scandal – however some rebels concern momentum shall be misplaced.

Boris Johnson’s place seems protected regardless of his celebration’s heavy losses on the native elections

(PA Wire)

The idea underlines the delicate hyperlinks between the assorted Tory tribes, the One Nation group, the onerous Brexit backers who put Mr Johnson in No 10 and the 2019 newcomers who owe their success to him.

Mr Hunt, the One Nation former overseas secretary, warned final week of a “massive mountain to climb” for the Tories to remain in energy, however stated a management contest can be incorrect “in the midst of a horrible struggle in Ukraine”.

Steve Baker, the previous Brexit minister who coordinated signatures to pressure a no-confidence vote in Theresa Could’s management, has referred to as on Mr Johnson to stop – however will not be actively plotting this time.

“If Jeremy got here out and stated he had seen sufficient proof [against Mr Johnson] which may make the distinction,” one MP instructed.

One other stated, of his constituents: “My individuals are saying ‘anybody however Boris’ – however after I ask who ought to change him, my fellow MPs go quiet.”

One of many former ministers stated: “I attempt to impress on my colleagues that, in deciding to do nothing, they’re making an energetic resolution to stay with Boris on the subsequent election.”

One other has warned their colleagues: “The issue for the time being is him, however it might simply be all of us if we aren’t cautious – as a result of the entire celebration shall be completely contaminated.”

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