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Tory MPs ‘plotting comeback’ by Boris Johnson

today4 September 2022 1

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Tory “rebels” are hatching a plot to get Boris Johnson back into No 10, it is claimed. Twelve backbenchers plan to submit no-confidence letters in Liz Truss – set to become new PM tomorrow – and want a leadership vote by Christmas.

One Tory said: “Liz is not very bright.” Another added: “Our only chance is with Boris.” The rebels claim the current Foreign Secretary she is the WORST person to take on the top job.

Read more: Ten money changes and other cost of living payments coming in September to look out for

As removals men on Sunday continued to load up the PM’s possessions, one top Conservative said: “MPs are ready to put letters of no confidence in as early as this week.

“Liz Truss is not very bright, has poor judgment, little empathy with people and sees everything in money terms. In the worst of times she’s the worst possible choice for PM.”

But the rebellion was branded insane by other Tories. One said: “This is madness. The country won’t wear 160,000 Conservative members choosing another PM, especially a retread. We’ll end up with a general election.”

The ding-dong continued as a source close to the conspiracy countered: “That’s fine by us. Our only chance of winning one is with Boris at the helm.”

The plotters are keeping their identities and communications secret because if they were unmasked they would lose the Tory whip and could not vote in the leadership challenge they are trying to arrange.

It will take 54 letters to the backbench Tory 1922 committee to trigger a vote of no confidence.

Chair Sir Graham Brady never reveals how many he gets until the threshold is met. The plotters hope to hit the number by early next year.

Tory donor Lord Cruddas organised a petition which showed 8,700 party members wanted Mr Johnson’s resignation cancelled and for him to stay on. It fell only 1,300 short of the 10,000 needed to force a change in the Conservative constitution. The result of the six-week contest between ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Foreign Secretary will be announced by Sir Graham tomorrow.

The pair will be told their fate 10 minutes beforehand and it would be extraordinary if strong favourite Ms Truss, 47, did not come out top. The winner will then make a short acceptance speech.

But Ms Truss would begin her premiership with a majority of Tory MPs against her. Only 113 backed her in the final Commons vote compared to 42-year-old Mr Sunak’s 137 and 105 for Penny Mordaunt.

And even MPs who are not part of the plot are now suffering buyer’s remorse at the PM’s ousting and predict he will back.

One told the Sunday Mirror: “He’s the only person who can keep the red wall together. I expect him to be PM again before we go to the polls. And if he isn’t and we lose then he’ll be leader immediately afterwards.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries added: “It was a huge mistake to get rid of Boris. The party will come to regret that.”

At his final PM’s questions Mr Johnson used actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator catchphrase “hasta la vista”, which means “see you later”.

It was interpreted as his intention to make a comeback.

But the only way that can happen is if the Privileges Committee – chaired by Labour ’s Harriet Harman – clears him of misleading Parliament over the No10 lockdown parties.

That is why plotters were cock-a-hoop when constitutional lawyer Lord David Pannick QC branded the Partygate probe “unfair” and “fundamentally flawed” on Friday.

They hope the £129,700 of legal advice commissioned by the Cabinet Office will persuade MPs to drop the inquiry, leaving Mr Johnson free to run for the leadership again. Former Cabinet minister Rory Stewart and a Johnson opponent said: “Yes, I fear we are going to end up with a second Berlusconi or a second Trump trying to rock back in again.”

Former Conservative treasurer and Tory peer Lord Marland said: “Boris Johnson will be a great loss to politics but hopefully only a temporary loss.”

Brett Meyer, of the Tony Blair Institute, said the Tories will struggle to hold on to red wall Brexiteers – whoever becomes PM tomorrow.

He added: “The Conservatives can expect to lose a huge chunk of the people who lent them their votes three years ago.”

Reports that Ms Truss wants to tear up employment protections, including the EU’s 48-hour working week and guaranteed four weeks annual leave, also drew fire from Labour.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “She has shown her true colours with a plan that would rip up worker rights and see those already pushed to the brink during a cost-of-living crisis have their holidays reduced.”

TUC boss Frances O’Grady added: “Liz Truss’s priority should be to help families pay bills. Threatening hard-won workers’ rights is the last thing the country and working people need.”

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