Boris Johnson continues to cling on to power despite calls for his resignation over the Downing Street parties scandal - and has vowed to fight any no-confidence vote launched against him.
Former Brexit secretary David Davis called for the Prime Minister to go, telling a packed House of Commons on Wednesday (19 January), “in the name of God, go.”
The Tory backbencher later warned that the party faces “dying a death of 1,000 cuts” if they do not act swiftly to oust him.
There was also a dramatic defection minutes before Prime Minister’s Questions, with Bury South MP Christian Wakeford joining the Labour party.
Mr Wakeford said that he refused to “defend the indefensible” over alleged breaches of Covid rules.
Will the Prime Minister face a no-confidence vote?
Mr Johnson was said to have been handed a reprieve by some Tory MPs considering handing-in a no-confidence letter until they hear the result of Sue Gray’s inquiry into the No 10 parties.
The Prime Minister had been holding talks with backbenchers in a bid to shore up support as he aimed to prevent 54 letters - the number needed to trigger a no-confidence vote - being sent to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee.
The defection of Mr Wakeford was also suspected by some Tory MPs of galvanising support for the Prime Minister ahead of Ms Gray’s report - which is expected to be published next week.
However, seven Tory MPs have now publicly called for Mr Johnson to go - and a number of the 2019 Conservative intake are said to have delivered no-confidence letters ahead of PMQs on Wednesday (20 January).
Would Boris Johnson fight any no-confidence vote?
No 10 said that the Prime Minister will fight any no-confidence vote launched against him.
They also insisted that he expects to fight the next general election.
Why has David Davis called for the Prime Minister to resign?
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Davis said: “The party is going to have to make a decision or we face dying a death of 1,000 cuts.”
He added that the Prime Minister will appear to be “shifting the blame” if he fires staff after Ms Gray delivers her inquiry
Then there will be the “crises” of rising energy bills and the National Insurance hike being compounded by the “disorganisation” at No 10, which could trigger a vote of no confidence at Christmas, meaning a “year of agony”, he continued.
“That’s the worst outcome, particularly for the 2019 and 2017 and 2015 intake – that, slice by slice by slice, this carries on and we bump along at minus whatever and, even worse, we create policies to try to paper over it.”
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