Boris Johnson’s allies will change their approach to winning a no-confidence vote, after admitting that they now have little chance of stopping one.
The Prime Minister will launch a fight against health and housing policy this week in a last-ditch attempt to win over his critics. He is expected to face a vote on his leadership as early as this week, with some MPs predicting that the 54-letter threshold for asking for one has already been exceeded.
With a noticeable change in tone, Business Minister Paul Scully acknowledged Sunday night that “a censorship vote could pass,” but insisted Johnson would “face off.” “Whatever happens, we have to govern again, to address the things that people want us to do on a day-to-day basis.”
Hours earlier, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps had said he didn’t think there would be a vote this week.
A No. 10 source said Johnson would show in the coming days that he was “still in the job” and acknowledged that he also aimed to show his determination not to be fatally weakened by a vote of confidence, that the prime minister he hopes to win by a little. .
The source said there was no chance Johnson would offer his resignation if he only won by a small margin, or that he would offer to run before the next election, as Theresa May did.
Johnson will not shy away from the possible humiliation of the next two by-elections, his attendees said, and is planning visits to Wakefield and Tiverton, which the Tories are expected to lose to Labor and Liberal Democrats, respectively.
Some newer MPs are said to be nervous about acting too soon and are considering pushing for a no-confidence vote to be postponed until after June 23, when the by-elections are due, to give them the best chance of eliminating Johnson. and give more time to potential leadership candidates. prepare.
Amid accusations by some of Johnson’s supporters of the 10th complacency, the Prime Minister will focus this week on delaying the NHS, announcing the progress the government is making to address waiting lists, in a gesture eye on the use of cash raised by unpopular tax hikes in party sectors.
Johnson will announce on Monday that one million checks and tests have been performed since the implementation of new community diagnostic centers, freeing up hospital capacity.
He explicitly linked it to the increase in national insurance dubbed the health and social care rate, which has been widely criticized by Conservative MPs, and said funding would mean the NHS could “address Covid delays, reduce waiting lists and save lives “.
Later in Health Week, a major review of NHS management by former Vice President of Defense Team Gen Sir Gordon Messenger will propose a review of NHS leadership structures for help failed trusts emulate those that work best.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has pledged that the review will be the most far-reaching leadership in the NHS for 40 years and will “level” regional disparities in care.
Johnson is also expected to announce an extension of the right to purchase millions of people who rent to housing associations this week, as well as the extension of other home ownership programs. There are also provisional plans to formally introduce the controversial legislation to repeal parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Weekend polls showed the Conservatives were preparing for a humiliating defeat at Wakefield. Several MPs in the 2019 general election have told their colleagues that they will not send a letter until after this result. “Red Wall MPs who are hesitant are just looking at Wakefield,” one MP said. “Only then will the penny go down, which is not really popular at all.”
When a vote of confidence arrives, Johnson’s allies say it will be crucial for him to show that he has the support of most backbenchers.
“Theresa May lost MPs,” one MP said. “The Prime Minister must always get the votes on the payroll [those holding government posts] next to. But what he has to do is get at least half of the back seats, because then that gives a strong signal. “
A former minister, a supporter of Johnson, said that even among those who support him will have to regain confidence and show that he can win the next election with a big agenda.
“He will survive, but this will obviously weaken him. If he is a soldier, then he has a lot of work to do. [the] damage suffered. Knowing Boris, he might be able to find his way. “
But rebel MPs have circulated a private briefing document that puts a harsh electoral image on Johnson’s prospects. He says Johnson’s booing at the Jubilee “doesn’t tell us anything but the data doesn’t” and that no social group surveyed says he trusts the prime minister.
Don’t “over-interpret” Boris Johnson’s boos, says Grant Shapps – video
Another point says that “the whole purpose of the government now seems to be to support Boris Johnson as prime minister,” noting his personal negative assessments and saying that “defending the indefensible” is not protecting the party but a man.
A minister said residual loyalty to Johnson was now very low even among his supporters. “Of course, things will catch up. He’s toasted. Everyone is tired of the drama. The only question is whether he can get past the election and be able to get a little longer at number 10 before getting rid of it. We can’t stand this shit forever. “
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Only 18 MPs have publicly stated that they have sent a letter, but MPs who publish the numbers believe that at least 70 have now publicly expressed their lack of faith in the Prime Minister.
Most parliamentarians seem resigned because the dam will break, but the timing is virtually impossible to guess given the lack of coordinated effort. “It’s all about individual deputies. As far as I know, there isn’t even a WhatsApp group, “said a member of parliament who opposes Johnson.
Most MPs are willing to bet that a challenge is imminent. “I’d say we were already there, and when Graham Brady [the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, who receives the letters] return to his office on Monday, there will be one more charge, “the deputy said.” I look forward to Wednesday’s vote. “
Voting is a secret ballot in person. To survive in office, a Conservative leader requires the support of at least half of his deputies plus one, meaning Johnson would need the support of at least 180 of his parliamentary party.
“Getting to 180 is a big question, but it’s a secret ballot,” he said. “I think a third of the payroll could go against him. If it’s a third of them, and two-thirds of the backbenchers, you’re suddenly in business.
“There will be a round coordinated by the number 10, but I think if we get to 180 or not, the number of voters against will be much higher than the Prime Minister might think.”