Tory MPs 'can't trust what their leader's saying' says Richard Tice

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Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK, and former chairman of the Brexit Party hit out at Boris Johnson’s leadership. He claimed that disgruntled MPs do not recognise the Prime Minister. Speaking to GB News, Mr Tice said: “I couldn’t reveal negotiations, but there are some very disgruntled Tory MPs who realise it’s no longer the party they thought it was.

“They can’t trust what their leaders say, they don’t recognise the Prime Minister from the person who was elected in December 2019.

“They’re very, very concerned. They’re working out what they can do about it.

“I think democracy is best served when there is more choice.

“You get more debates, more discussion and then voters get more choice.

“We’ve got about 280 candidates for the general election, we’ll be standing 600; there will be five parties that will be standing that many candidates and we’ll be one of them.

It comes as Mr Johnson saw his House of Commons majority cut as several Tory MPs opposed his £12 billion tax hike to pay for health and social care.

The Health and Social Care Levy Bill cleared the Commons at third reading by 307 votes to 251, majority 56.

A total of 10 Conservative MPs rebelled to oppose the legislation, including former ministers Esther McVey and Sir Christopher Chope, while many more abstained.

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The Prime Minister’s working majority of 83 was cut, but the unease amongst his backbenchers was nowhere near enough to derail the legislation, which will help enact his plans of a 1.25 percentage point increase in national insurance from April 2022.

The levy will also hit the earnings of working people above retirement age from April 2023.

The policy breaks Mr Johnson’s 2019 election manifesto commitment not to raise taxes.

Speaking at third reading, Treasury minister Jesse Norman welcomed the “landmark” Bill and insisted: “This levy will enable the Government to tackle the backlog in the NHS, it will provide a new permanent way to pay for the Government’s reforms to social care and it will allow the Government to fund its vision for the future of health and social care in this country over the longer term.”

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But Conservative MP John Baron (Basildon and Billericay), speaking earlier in the day, expressed concerns over the “haste” at which the policy is being implemented and suggested the move risks “choking off an economic recovery”.

He said his party had previously referred to national insurance as a “tax on jobs”, adding: “The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) in 2002, when speaking from the backbenches when opposing Labour’s increase, called it regressive.

“He was right then, I’m afraid he’s wrong now introducing this national insurance contribution tax increase.”

He went on: “This will cost jobs, it will result in lower pay and it will result in higher prices.”

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