Boris Johnson, 57, could face a leadership challenge next week after Andrew Bridgen, also 57, told GB News over a dozen of his Conservative colleagues look set to hand in no confidence letters tomorrow. Speaking to Dan Wootton, 38, the North West Leicestershire MP said he was with a prominent political journalist when he was told by 20 Tory MPs from the 2019 intake they were ready to push for a no confidence motion against the Prime Minister.
Mr Bridgen, who supported Mr Johnson for the Conservative Party leadership in 2019, added: “It’s going to happen, I think that will push over the 54 required to trigger a confidence motion vote.
“I think, depending on what time they go in tomorrow, Mr Brady will go in to see the Prime Minister, probably in the afternoon.
“Two things will come from that, I think we are going to be having a confidence vote probably on Tuesday or Monday next week… [and] knowing the arch-strategist and Machiavellian plotter that Mr Cummings is, he will dump every bit of ammunition he’s got in his locker as soon as that vote is triggered.”
However, not everyone seems convinced the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff Dominic Cummings, 50, will ensure Mr Johnson faces a no confidence vote.
A former minister told the Telegraph: “There’s definitely been a shift in the way people are looking at this.
“Constituents are starting to email me, complaining that Cummings is breaking confidentiality, and there has been a swing of sympathy towards the PM.
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“People can see that Cummings is a man who has only one objective in life, and that’s his personal vendetta against the Prime Minister.
“It’s a real turn-off.”
Another Tory MP claimed: “People just see Cummings as being completely untrustworthy.
“They think he lied over his trip to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight, and people are asking what exactly he was doing to stop all these parties, given that he was such a major figure in Downing Street at the time.
“Somehow, everything he attended was a works thing and everything he didn’t attend was a party.
“People can see through him.
“When Cummings broke lockdown rules and went to Durham, I received a tsunami of emails from people.
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“This has been nothing like that.”
However, when asked by Mr Wootton if he was bringing a challenge against the Prime Minister too early, Mr Bridgen claimed: “There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing, Dan.
“And what we do know is that this constant drip out of information, damaging to the Prime Minister, it’s preventing the Prime Minister [from] doing his job, it’s actually paralysing the Government and that’s just not tenable.”
Many Tory MPs, especially those from the 2019 intake, will be nervous about retaining their seats in the Commons.
Since ‘partygate’ support for the Conservative Party has taken a tumble in the polls.
In the most recent Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey, Labour even opened up a 13-point lead over the Tories.
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Writing on social media, Mr Wootton reiterated Mr Bridgen’s comments and warned of a “huge 24 hours ahead in Westminster”.
“Andrew Bridgen just confirmed Christopher Hope’s scoop to me live on GB News,” he tweeted.
“Says he was with the 20 MPs today.
“Believes around 30 letters already submitted.
“Predicts a confidence vote in Boris next Monday or Tuesday.”
While the Sun on Sunday has reported up to 35 MPs have already submitted no confidence letters, Mr Johnson’s Cabinet have rallied behind the Prime Minister.
Despite clinging onto the marginal seat of Esher & Walton in 2019, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, 47, said: “I’m confident he will carry on for many years and into the next election.”