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Cabinet ministers back Boris Johnson after Tory cheers at PMQs | Boris Johnson

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Cabinet ministers rowed behind Boris Johnson on Wednesday after a scorching three weeks in Westminster as Downing Street sought to play down the divisions between No.10 and the Treasury.

Johnsons spokesman refuted numerous reports of a split between the prime minister and his chancellor, Rishi Sunak, while cabinet ministers said the counter-briefs angered their colleagues.

Johnson has had a tumultuous three weeks since spearheading the botched attempt to protect disgraced MP Owen Paterson, culminating in the refusal of many Tory MPs to back the government’s welfare plans.

But two cabinet ministers defended Johnson on Wednesday and said key commitments on transport and social services were generally welcomed by businesses, though one of them warned of the need to prevent mistakes not forced to become a model.

Johnson was cheered on by his MPs early in his PMQ appearance, after a three-week spell that included several backbench rebellions and some high-ranking Tories expressed concern over his hold on the government.

Party sources said they believe that although polls have shown waning support, the Tory vote is holding up well in Old Bexley and Sidcup, the scene of one of two byelections next week. The other, in the former seat of Sir David Amesss of Southend West, is not contested by other mainstream parties.

At the moment, we’re confident there have been individual bumps and scratches that haven’t derailed everything, a Cabinet minister said.

Asked about the splits with No.11, they replied: There is a tendency to panic among people who do not quite understand the Prime Minister and his call. No one likes unforced errors, but you don’t have to make a crisis of it. At the end of the day what people are seeing is a Prime Minister doing something about welfare for the first time in decades.

The minister said the rally in support of the Commons showed dissidents, including those who allegedly sent letters of no confidence, were out of touch.

You can see that people feel that the Prime Minister is being treated unfairly. Look at the PMQs, the boys and girls have surrendered and made a lot of noise for him. It is nothing like what it was when Theresa May was on her last legs.

Another loyal cabinet minister dismissed the idea of ​​Johnson losing his political touch as overkill. They suggested that Johnsons fumbling with his CBI speech may have been due to an assistant giving him the pages in the wrong order, adding that Johnson was not the type of person to blame anyone.

When asked if the Prime Minister was upset that the Treasury was briefing him, Johnson’s press secretary said: I will not go into quotes from anonymous sources. The Prime Minister and the whole government are focused on achieving the peoples’ priorities.

Pressed further on how she would characterize No.10’s relationship with the Treasury at the moment, the press secretary said: I’ve seen various quotes from anonymous sources that I’m not going to go into, but the Prime minister, chancellor and the whole government is simply focused on achieving people’s priorities. We have an incredibly ambitious program and that is what we are focused on.

During their exchange in the Commons, Keir Starmer slammed Johnson over the concern of Tory MPs, asking him: who knows if the hell will come in the next election? At another point, the Labor leader joked: I think he has lost his place in his notes again.

Everything all right, Prime Minister? Starmer added, prompting the PM to respond: I’m telling you what’s not working is this line of attack, to loud cheers from his backbenchers.

Earlier Wednesday, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab praised Johnson and defended his advisers, who several sources accused of failing to resist the prime minister.

He said Johnson was focused on the job at hand and that he was an exuberant, spirited, upbeat and tigger character, and that he animated his speeches in a way few politicians past and present have done. , but in fact there is an acuteness for him as Prime Minister and of course his team, and we work as a team.

This article was changed on November 25, 2021 because an earlier version named the constituency of Old Bexley and Sidcup as Bexley and Old Sidcup.

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