Boris Johnson: MPs 'starting to lose faith' says Kuenssberg
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It is thought backbenchers fed up with the performance of the Prime Minister have submitted letters of no confidence to the chair of the party’s powerful 1922 Committee. Alarm bells will be ringing through Downing Street as Mr Johnson pushes to get back on top of the agenda and prove to his colleagues he is still in control.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was forced to deny the Conservative leader has lost his “grip” yesterday, after a series of embarrassing gaffes, U-turns and broken promises.
He is “very much focused on delivering for the public”, the official said.
But while No10 has publicly tried to shrug off claims of a leadership crisis, MPs in the party are losing their patience.
One senior Tory MP told The Sun: “He is like Jose Mourinho – he was good a decade ago and his powers have been fading ever since.
“Yes he won an election, but a bowl of soup could have beaten Jeremy Corbyn.
“There is real anger. He has until Spring to get back on track or he will be in real trouble.
“Letters have gone in. I am on the cusp myself.”
One Tory whip, usually in charge of keeping backbenchers in line, admitted there was “angst” in Government.
They told The Telegraph: “If the next month is like the last month, and horror stories continue, more letters will be submitted.”
A Conservative leadership challenge takes place if 15 percent of Tory MPs write to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, declaring no confidence in their leader.
Given Mr Johnson’s sizeable majority at the last election, it would currently take 54 MPs to trigger a vote.
The Conservatives have seen their poll numbers plummet in recent weeks.
It comes after weeks of accusations of Tory sleaze and corruption, a rebellion on Mr Johnson’s social care plan, and the breaking of a promise to fund Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The series of self-inflicted political wounds climaxed on Monday when the Prime Minister lost his place in a speech to the Confederation of British Industry.
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A loose page left him floundering for almost 30 seconds on stage in front of business leaders, forcing him to repeatedly ask those in attendance to “forgive” him while he recovered.
He also did an impression of a car and went off on a tangent about Peppa Pig World – “my kind of place”, he said.
His spokesman said yesterday: “The Prime Minister briefly lost his place in a speech.
“He has given hundreds of speeches.
“I don’t think it’s unusual for people on rare occasions to lose their place in a speech.”
Senior backbencher and former leadership rival, Jeremy Hunt, was forced to concede “the last month has not been a good month” for the Prime Minister.
However, urging people not to lose sight of the bigger picture, he added: “It’s been a bad month for the Government, I will absolutely concede that.
“And not just trivial issues like speeches going wrong but on much more serious issues like parliamentary standards.
“But I think in the end this Government will be judged – we will be judged because I am a Tory MP – on whether the reforms we have done have made a difference to a lot of ordinary people.”
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