Following the prime minister’s apology on Wednesday, the House of Commons has been abuzz with gossip about Tory MPs declaring no confidence in Johnson and cabinet ministers preparing bids to oust him.
Once upon a time, a Tory leader who had lost the confidence of his party would have been quietly removed by means of a discreet visit from the unidentified grandees known as the “men in grey suits”. In more modern times, a “stalking horse” candidate with no real prospect of victory would be sent out to issue a challenge to the leader as a means of testing the water for more serious contenders.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies