Politics Explained

Boris Johnson faces Tory unease on multiple fronts

Beyond the toxic row about sleaze in politics, the prime minister also faces disruption with rail and social care against a backdrop of rising inflation, writes Ashley Cowburn

Sunday 21 November 2021 00:24
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<p>The PM’s backbenchers are growing increasingly nervous about the Conservatives’ sliding position in the polls  </p>

The PM’s backbenchers are growing increasingly nervous about the Conservatives’ sliding position in the polls

Still reeling from the self-inflicted wounds over the botched attempt to prevent Owen Paterson’s suspension from the Commons – despite having been found to have breached lobbying rules – No 10 officials and Boris Johnson have faced a torrid fortnight.

The audacious bid to create a Tory-dominated committee to review sleaze rules, which was branded government “corruption” by opposition parties, resulted in a humiliating U-turn less than 24 hours after Conservative MPs were ordered to vote with the government.

Division in the party’s ranks burst into the open, culminating two weeks later, on Wednesday evening, with the prime minister offering a mea culpa to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs.

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