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Tory plotters against Boris Johnson urged not to put guns to Prime Ministers’ heads

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Downing Street has warned Tory MPs they will be putting a gun to the head of every future Tory Prime Minister if they change leadership rules in a bid to oust Boris Johnson.

The warning came as the Prime Minister’s supporters tried to thwart efforts by rebel MPs to bring forward the date for a possible second vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson.

A cabinet minister said The Independent that PM critics should bear in mind that the electoral landscape would look very different by the likely date of the next general election in 2024, with economic issues rather than Partygate at the forefront of voters’ minds.

Following last week’s humiliating by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton, Mr Johnson’s backbench critics are actively seeking new methods to unseat him after narrowly surviving a confidence vote by a margin of 211-148.

While some are pressuring ministers and party bigwigs to send the message to the PM that he must leave or face high profile resignations, others are expected to prepare an anti-Johnson slate to run in elections next month to the Executive Backbench Committee of 1922.

The executive has the power to overturn a rule that gives the prime minister 12 months of grace after a vote of confidence before MPs can vote on his future again.

But a source close to the Prime Minister today warned they should think twice before taking the step because of the danger it would prevent future party leaders from making difficult but necessary decisions.

If the rules were changed, every forever ruler would have a gun to their head, the source said.

They could never get along because they would be constantly subject to the whims of MPs.

As the operation to counter rebel plots gathered pace, a minister said MPs should not make the mistake of believing Mr Johnson’s current unpopularity will doom them to defeat when Britain would go to the polls in two years.

Voters’ decisions were more likely to be motivated by their belief that the government had helped them through the cost of living crisis and made significant headway on his promise to level the country than on the events of the Covid pandemic, he said.

Asked if the Tories had had time to detox Mr Johnson’s brand in time for the general election, the Minister said: Politics moves very quickly these days. The outcome in 2024 will not be determined by what happened in 2021.

I’m not saying voters will have forgotten Partygate, but the questions they’ll be asking in 2024 will be about the state of the economy, about their own outlook, about improving where they live, not about what happened a few. years before.

This is where we need to focus, rather than trying to change their way of thinking about PM.

The Minister acknowledged that leveling deprived areas of the UK was a long-term project which could not be completed within the timeframe of a single election.

But he insisted it would be possible for the government to make significant enough progress by 2024 to convince voters that Mr Johnson was leading the country towards that goal.

Leveling up is a long-term process and we won’t have changed every part of the country by election time, but it’s about making sure voters can see evidence of a direction of travel , did he declare.

Mr Johnson said he wanted to return to the UK after a nine-day trip which included Commonwealth, G7 and NATO summits in Rwanda, Germany and Spain and has seen beaten by voters in the UK by-election.

There is no place like home, he told reporters.

He has refused on three occasions to discuss the possibility of a snap election, following reports that Downing Street had toyed with the idea of ​​declaring a snap poll if Sir Keir Starmer was forced to relinquish the Labor leadership by fined by Durham Police for breaching Covid restrictions.

The idea hadn’t occurred to me, he insisted.

But sources close to the prime minister later poured cold water on the idea, telling reporters: The prime minister won an 80-seat majority. People want us to use it to bullshit, rather than hold another vote.

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2/ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-leadership-confidence-vote-b2113308.html

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