The number of Conservative MPs who have publicly called for him to go reached 42 following Sue Gray’s report on the repeated lockdown-breaking parties in Number 10 and Whitehall.
Tory heavyweights, including Dominic Raab and Priti Patel have been playing down the chances of a challenge to Boris Johnson’s leadership, with Raab quoted as "No. I think the Westminster bubble, village, whips this stuff up and I'm not saying it's not serious and significant, but we dealt with all those issues, the prime minister has dealt with all those issues.”
As Boris comes under more and more scrutiny, the country is in a mess. Transportation problems are leading to product shortages, car manufacturing is falling, the poorest cannot afford to heat their homes, with a further huge increase on the way, and increasing numbers do not even have a home. For those above the poverty line, holidays are impossible for some due to passport delays. Those with the new blue document are spending hours, if not days at airports, with some turned home due to overbooking. It is jokingly said that Manchester Airport customer service desk has become a busier holiday destination than Devon.
15% of Tory MPs - need to be handed over to trigger a leadership vote, which works out to 54. The big question is who would stand against him? For all his faults – and there are many – the Prime Minister has an extraordinary record when it comes to winning elections. A drubbing in the recent locals does not guarantee that would be repeated in a general election.
So, there is every chance he could remain there by default, unless a “stalking horse” candidate comes forward from the back benches. None of the current cabinet seem to want to risk their chances against their boss.
Where do we, as a party stand on the Tory leadership? It’s difficult to say without knowing the beliefs of any potential rival. Is there an actual “conservative” Conservative left? For the current policies to tax and spend, allied to the support for the green mantra belongs on the opposition benches. So-called libertarians amongst the Tory benches make some noise, but when it comes to the crunch, bow down and vote for party before policy. Will one of them grow a spine any time soon?
What is needed is a genuine alternative to the downward spiral of current Tory policies – one that involves fiscal responsibility and an efficient civil service back in the office. We cannot go on like this.
Martin Day – Party Secretary