Sajid Javid admits no confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s leadership is ‘possible’

Sajid Javid admits no confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s leadership is ‘possible’
Cabinet minister’s comments come amid speculation 54 rebel letter threshold has been reached

Cabinet minister Sajid Javid has admitted a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson’s leadership is “possible” amid speculation one could be triggered as soon as today.

The health secretary said he was unaware whether the required rebel threshold had been reached, but highlighted a number of colleagues who had gone public.

Under the party’s rules, 54 MPs must submit a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership to the chairman of the Conservatives’ 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

If the the threshold is reached, the prime minister will have to secure the backing of 50 per cent of his MPs in a secret ballot in order to remain Tory leader.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Javid said: “If 54 letters are reached I’m sure a vote will be called. I do think it’s possible, but I don’t know”.

He added: “This country doesn’t need a vote of confidence in the prime minister. What we need to be doing as a country is looking ahead to the challenges that exist.

“If this threshold of 54 letters is reached there will be a confidence vote and in that case there should be. There may well be one.

“If there is, the prime minister will stand and fight his corner with a very, very strong case. So let’s just wait and see what happens.”

His remarks came after Steve Barclay, the Cabinet Office minister and chief-of-staff to the prime minister, told Tory MPs the next election would not be decided by the Sue Gray report into the Partygate scandal.

Mr Barclay urged MPs not to “waste time and energy looking backwards and inwards, talking to ourselves about ourselves”.

“The parliamentary majority we hold is incredibly rare. To waste time now on continued internal factionalisaton would be indefensible to many of our party members – given how hard they worked to secure that majority,” he said.

“The problems we face aren’t easy to solve. Democracies around the world are all currently facing similar challenges.

He added: “But under Boris Johnson’s leadership, our plan for jobs shows how we are navigated through these global challenges.

“To disrupt that progress now would be inexcusable to many who lent their vote to us for the first time at the last general election, and who want to see our Prime Minister deliver the changes promised for their communities.”