Boris Johnson is in 'quite a lot of trouble' says MP
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The immediate aftermath of Mr Wakeford’s journey across the House of Commons floor has proven beneficial for the Conservatives, party members claimed. While the backbenches were previously fractured and no confidence letters filtered into the 1922 Committee, Tories have seen allegiances reforged in the fiery exchange as they object to the perceived “betrayal”.
Although hailed as a win, it could end up a double-edged sword as Labour banks on snatching power from the incumbent party.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Steven McCabe, associate professor at Birmingham City University, said Sir Keir’s team may prefer Mr Johnson staying in the role.
He said a “cynical” view had formed that suggested Labour would use the PM as “a ‘lightning rod’ for increasing discontent”.
Professor McCabe added the party believes the current PM “will be easier to beat at the next general election than any new leader who claims to be different from the predecessor”.
Under these conditions, he said Mr Johnson would become “an election asset for the opposition”.
The most pertinent threat against the PM is, at present, his own party members.
So far, six have publicly entered letters of no confidence, 54 of which are required to trigger a vote.
Others may have handed theirs under the radar, as a group of 12 2019 intake MPs reportedly operated a “pork pie plot”.
Once MPs cross the agreed threshold, they need a total of 180 to vote Mr Johnson out.
A successful vote would not benefit Labour in the long run, as it would only serve to oust one man.
With the current Prime Minister gone, Conservatives would have an opportunity to rebrand.
If they signed on another Tory grandee, such as Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, both of whom claim not to have joined Downing Street parties, the party could effectively shake the scandal that dragged their predecessor down.
Ultimately, without an impromptu General Election, Conservatives could right the ship by the vote in 2024.
A successful no-confidence vote in Mr Johnson currently appears unlikely.
Previous Prime Ministers have successfully navigated no-confidence votes by virtue of incumbency, with an advantage from having MPs on the Government payroll.
Theresa May successfully navigated a no-confidence vote in 2018, when she secured 200 votes, approximately 63 percent of the party.
And Mr Johnson appeared just as willing to fight off a challenge.
One of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet allies told Politico’s London Playbook he was “fighting hard”.
They added he wouldn’t resign following a confidence vote and that he was “immovable”, with “Labour and the turncoats” unable to challenge his “determination to fight and win”.
The Times reported that Me Johnson told an ally to “bring it on” when speaking about the confidence bid.
He may end up undercut by the Sue Gray report, however, which is due next week and could show he had knowledge of the controversial downing street parties.
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