Daily Express

Tory rebels will fail in bid to oust the Prime Minister, say his allies

- By Macer Hall Political Editor

BORIS Johnson will crush any attempt by Tory rebels to force him out of No 10, his allies have claimed.

The Prime Minister’s supporters are braced for a showdown after rebels claimed they had well above the number of MPs needed to trigger a confidence vote in his leadership.

Some backbenche­rs expect the vote to be confirmed today, with the crunch ballot held onWednesda­y.

One report over the weekend claimed around 67 MPs have already formally requested the poll, 13 more than needed under party rules.

But Mr Johnson’s allies were last night sceptical. One said: “There has been a lot of talk. Let’s see if they really have the numbers.”

The PM’s supporters say that if it does comes down to a vote he will win with a big majority.

Aides insisted Mr Johnson was ignoring the speculatio­n. One Downing Street source said: “He’s just getting on with the job.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday doubted whether a confidence vote will be held, while insisting the PM would win.

Asked on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme if he believed there will be a vote this week, Mr Shapps said: “No, I don’t.

Actually in the round when people judge Government by the general election, rather than mid-term where it’s not unusual to see polling like this, actually people make a decision about whether you’ve delivered and done a good as a whole.

“I’m absolutely certain, with some of these huge decisions, sorting out Brexit, getting through coronaviru­s, seeing the largest growing economy last year, these are decisions and actions which will in the end matter to people.”

Asked if the Prime Minister would win a vote of confidence, he said: “Yes, he will.”

Mr Shapps also dismissed claims the booing of Mr Johnson by a few people outside St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebratio­ns suggested his time in office was coming to an end.

Mr Shapps said: “There were also people cheering and you’re not asking me why they did that. Look, politician­s don’t expect to be popular all the time. Getting on with running the country is a job where you have to take difficult decisions a lot of the time. I wasn’t there but I heard people booing, I heard people cheering, I think it’s best to get on with the job at hand – running the country – rather than being overly distracted by the clips that you just played.”

He added: “I remember booing going on at the Olympic Games in 2012, it didn’t mean that the election wasn’t won in 2015. I think you’re rather overinterp­reting...

“Politician­s by their very nature will of course divide opinion. That’s what politician­s do.That’s because we argue about different sides of issues.”


Tory rebels claim Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory parliament­ary party’s 1922 Committee, will count the numbers of requests for a confidence vote today and find the threshold of 54 MPs has been exceeded.

One rebel said: “Sir Graham will find a pile of letters that have been pushed under his door when he gets back to his Westminste­r office.

“I expect him to announce [this] afternoon that a vote will be held on Wednesday. If not now, then when? The Prime Minister has had a good innings but it is time for him to walk away.”

But the rebel also admitted: “Nobody really knows how many letters have been sent in.”

 ?? Picture: HANNAH MCKAY/GETTY ?? Sitting tight… PM with wife Carrie at the Platinum Pageant in London yesterday
Picture: HANNAH MCKAY/GETTY Sitting tight… PM with wife Carrie at the Platinum Pageant in London yesterday
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 ?? ?? Booed…Boris and Carrie at St Paul’s on Friday; below, Grant Shapps
Booed…Boris and Carrie at St Paul’s on Friday; below, Grant Shapps

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