Conservatives face ‘death of 1,000 cuts’, David Davis warns
A senior Conservative backbencher has warned his colleagues that they face a “year of agony” unless they trigger a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson.
In a debate in the Commons on Wednesday, the former Brexit secretary and Johnson ally David Davis caused a stir when he urged the prime minister to “in the name of God, go”.
“The party is going to have to make a decision or we face dying a death of 1,000 cuts,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
Mr Davis’ withering attack on the Tory leader came as the Bury South MP Christian Wakeford defected from the Conservatives to Labour amid the partygate scandal. Senior Labour sources have reportedly indicated that “several others” may follow suit.
Despite these major setbacks to his leadership, it appears that Mr Johnson’s position is safe for now at least, with many Tory MPs said to be reluctant to act before the findings of the lockdown parties investigation are published.
Labour welcomes new MP
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has praised Christian Wakeford for defecting to Labour from the Conservatives.
The Bury South stepped across the aisle yesterday, shortly before the start of PMQs.
Ms Reeves told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m happy to have him as a Labour MP and I’m looking forward to getting to know him.
“I’m going to be meeting him in Bury in his constituency later today.”
She added: “He has looked at the Conservative Party and sees that they’re no longer fit to lead.”
Davis attack on PM ‘damaging’, admits Javid
Senior Tory MP David Davis’ condemnation of Boris Johnson yesterday is “damaging”, Sajid Javid has said.
“It is damaging, of course it is,” the health secretary told Sky News.
He added that the prime minister would have to resign if he was found to have breached the law.
“The Ministerial Code is very clear. If any minister from the prime minister down breaks the law, of course they shouldn’t continue to serve as a minister,” he said.
“What I have just said is a general rule that applies to everyone. There is no exception to that rule.”
Tory defection helped prime minister, says Conservative MP
The defection of Bury South MP Christian Wakeford from the Conservatives to Labour is a blessing to the prime minister, a Tory MP has said.
Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole MP, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s kind of made people a bit more relaxed, it’s calmed nerves.
“I think people have recognised that actually this constant navel gazing and internal debating is only to the advantage of our political opponents.
“The prime minister is probably thanking Christian for what he did because it’s made a lot of people think again, think twice.”
PM safe for now at least
The prime minister’s position may be safe until the Whitehall mandarin Sue Gray releases her partygate report, influential Tory MPs have told The Independent.
Although some discontented Tories are understood to have submitted no confidence letters in the prime minister, the threshold of 54 needed to trigger a leadership vote has not been reached.
But anger against Mr Johnson runs deep, with many of his backbenchers ridiculing his excuse that he attended a lockdown party thinking it was a work event.
“It’s like going to a brothel and claiming you didn’t realise that the women there are selling themselves for sex,” one backbencher said.
‘In the name of God, go’: David Davis becomes most senior Tory to demand PM’s head
Senior Tory calls for Johnson to go
Former minister David Davis launched a withering attack on Boris Johnson yesterday, calling for him to step down as his party slides in the polls amid the ongoing partygate scandal.
Unless the PM is ousted soon, the Conservatives face “a death of 1,000 cuts”, the senior MP and former Johnson ally warned.
“I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take,” he said, referring to the lockdown-breaching Downing Street parties.
Tories would be in for a ‘year of agony‘ if PM is not ousted soon, the former Brexit secretary said
Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live politics coverage.
Following a memorable PMQs yesterday, Boris Johnson’s position appears safe – for now at least. We will keep you updated on this and other developments from Westminster.