Boris Johnson: No confidence vote 'will happen' says Bridgen
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Allies of the Prime Minister fear members of the all-powerful 1922 committee are plotting his downfall. The executive of the group is accused of siding with those looking to bring down Mr Johnson by allowing a confidence vote in the party leader to take place more often.
Currently if a Conservative leader survives a confidence vote against them, a new challenge to their authority cannot be launched for another 12 months.
But later this week the 1922 committee will vote on reducing the time period to allow a new vote in just six months time.
The change would mean that even if Mr Johnson survived a confidence vote launched by his backbenchers in the coming weeks, they would get a second attempt at ousting him this summer.
Members of the 1922 committee have been vocal in their criticism of Mr Johnson.
Those close to the Prime Minister now believe the committee is actively working against him.
Deputy chair William Wragg has demanded a police investigation into the Tory leadership after accusations of “intimidation” and “blackmail” of MPs.
He said he had “several” examples of bullying that he would discuss with the police.
“The intimidation of a Member of Parliament is a serious matter,” he said.
“Reports of which I am aware would seem to constitute blackmail.
“As such it would be my general advice to colleagues to report these matters to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police.”
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The 1922 committee’s other deputy chair, Nus Ghani, over the weekend accused the Government of sacking her as minister because of concerns about her “Muslimness”.
The claims have created a fresh headache for Mr Johnson, with the Prime Minister launching a Cabinet Officer inquiry to investigate.
The 1922’s Executive Secretary Gary Sambrook was named among those thought to be involved in a failed coup against the Tory leader last week.
Meanwhile, senior member of the committee Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown warned before Christmas that it was time for a “reset”.
Hinting he was open to a change in leadership, he said: “I think we’ve got to reset, either under the current leadership or with somebody else, from these self-inflicted problems.”
Under party rules, once 15 percent of Tory MPs – 54 – submit letters of no confidence in their leader to the chair of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, a vote of confidence must be held.
The changes to be voted win later this week would mean that a second vote could be held after six months if 25 percent of the party’s MPs – 90 – demanded a change.
Sir Graham is notorious for refusing to comment on how many no confidence letters have been sent to him, however, it is thought more than 30 MPs have so far made clear their desire for a change in leadership.
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