Tories make list of 13 reasons why they want to get rid of Boris Johnson – but allies rally around PM
The Prime Minister is facing mounting pressure to resign following Sue Gray's Partygate report
Prime Minister Boris Johnson could face a vote of no confidence this week, as Conservative rebels continue to condemn his leadership.
Allies of Mr Johnson will switch their focus to winning a confidence vote, as the Prime Minister launches a health and housing policy fightback in a last-ditch attempt to win the support of his critics.
Backbench Tory MPs have reportedly received a list outlining 13 reasons to remove him as leader.
The list, which brands Mr Johnson as a "Conservative Corbyn", concludes that the "only way to restore Conservative fortunes to a point where we can win the next general election, is to remove Boris Johnson as prime minister”.
The statement is being circulated by Conservative rebels, who remain confident the 1922 Committee has received the 54 letters needed to trigger a no confidence vote.
Their campaign arose following claims that the subsequent 180 votes, which are required to remove Mr Johnson as leader, will not succeed.
One of the 13 reasons to remove the Prime Minister detailed in the document, outlines how the booing which the Conservative leader and his wife received outside St Paul's Cathedral, speaks volumes about the public's confidence in his leadership.
The document – seen by The Times – states that the Prime Minister's reception at the Service of Thanksgiving "tells us nothing that data does not”, citing polling that “no social group trusts him, with even 55 percent of current Conservatives calling him untrustworthy”.
But Mr Johnson's allies remain adamant he is the right man for the job.
Cabinet Office Minister Steve Barclay has warned Tory MPs not to throw away the progress the Government has been making in dealing with the fall out from the pandemic.
In a statement on the ConservativeHome website, Mr Barclay said the next general election would not be decided by the Sue Gray report and urged MPs not to “waste time and energy looking backwards and inwards, talking to ourselves about ourselves”.
He added: "The parliamentary majority we hold is incredibly rare.
"To waste time now on continued internal factionalisation would be indefensible to many of our party members – given how hard they worked to secure that majority.
“The problems we face aren’t easy to solve. Democracies around the world are all currently facing similar challenges.
"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.”
Nevertheless, pressure is building on the former Mayor of London.
One rebel said: “A Conservative Prime Minister being booed by people who turned up to witness people arriving for a service in honour of the Queen is pretty dire.
"When you’ve lost the royalists, and a lot of them will be former service personnel, that’s our core vote.”
Mr Johnson was also booed while dining at Morito, a restaurant in east London where his son Theo worked.
The Mail on Sunday said the PM responded with a “dismissive hand gesture and left”.
The 13 reasons list continued: “The damage done to trust in Boris Johnson is such that popular policies are falling flat with the public (e.g. cost of living measures).
"A pollster has dubbed him the ‘Conservative Corbyn’ because of this.”
One MP circulating the letter said: “Those who are still supporting Johnson are like Corbynites whose love of their leader kept them immune to any opinion outside their echo chambers.”
A leading Tory rebel has emphasised the imminency of a vote of no confidence, adding how it is "very likely" to occur this week.
Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, will count the letters when Parliament returns today.
If the threshold has been met, he will tell the Prime Minister and then make a public statement announcing that a vote of confidence will be held, with this Wednesday the most likely day.