The Prime Minister could face a vote of confidence next week after dozens of Tories turned on him – but he has no intention of leaving No 10
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Boris Johnson has told allies he is determined to keep the top job despite mounting pressure from Tory MPs who want him out – and urging from his wife, according to reports.
The Prime Minister has been desperately clinging on to power since it was revealed that he flouted lockdown rules over the course of the pandemic to attend a number of boozy Downing Street parties, but is now preparing to face a vote of no confidence.
A vote is triggered when 54 MPs from his own party submit written requests to the chairman of the 1922 Committee.
At least 35 have already submitted letters, according to Downing Streets insiders, and some believe a vote could be called as early as next week.
But friends of the Prime Minister say he is determined to stay in No 10, reports The Times.
“He’s making very clear that they’ll have to send a Panzer division to get him out of there,” a senior adviser said.
As the pressure intensifies, a number of sources claim Carrie Johnson has privately voiced the view that her husband should consider quitting for the sake of his family, The Times reports.
However, he appears to have no intentions of stepping down and recently announced plans to overhaul of his top team after the departure of five of his most senior aides within 24 hours last week.
One of the key changes is the appointment of Steve Barclay, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, as the new Downing Street chief of staff. He will remain a minister and create a new Office of the Prime Minister, covering No 10 and the Cabinet Office.
TV journalist Guto Harri has also been appointed as the Prime Minister’s top spin doctor. He previously worked under Mr Johnson as chief of staff when he was London Mayor.
It comes as some ministers have reportedly turned against chancellor Rishi Sunak and accused him of plotting against the Prime Minister.
Mr Sunak was criticised after he publicly went against the Prime Minister for falsley accusing the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile when he was director of public prosecutions.
Mr Johnson’s allies are also concerned about the impending release of his wife’s biography. The book, funded by the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft, is expected to make explosive claims about the Prime Minister’s influence over Downing Street and its staff.
Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has accused Mr Johnson’s political opponents of smearing his wife’s reputation, in a bid to oust him from No 10.
“This book is based on a tissue of lies provided by vengeful and mendacious men who were once employees in No 10 and is an insight into their warped minds,” she said.
“If it ever sees the light of day, it should be filed under fiction. Carrie had a baby only weeks ago and the obsessive way in which she is hounded is bordering on sinister.
“To constantly target her in this way to hurt the PM, and to be used as a conduit to destabilise him, is deeply disturbing.”