Anti-Boris Johnson dossier circulated to Tory MPs days before no-confidence vote

Document urged Tory MPs to oust the prime minister

Kate Devlin
Whitehall Editor
Monday 06 June 2022 12:55 BST
Keir Starmer calls for Tory MPs to 'step up and get rid' of Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson faces a confidence vote barely a day after a dossier detailing his failings spread like wildfire among Tory MPs.

The paper, entitled Party Leadership, was sent to Tory MPs questioning the prime minister’s role in the wake of the partygate scandal.

It warned that the way to “end this misery” for MPs and the party was to remove Mr Johnson, who it described as “no longer an electoral asset”.

Conservative MPs are increasingly fearful that Mr Johnson will lead them to lose their seats at the next general election, and hand the keys of No 10 to Labour.

The party faces two key electoral tests later this month, which many MPs predict will be bloodbaths for the Conservatives.

The document warned: “Boris Johnson is no longer an electoral asset and, if left in post, will lead the party to a substantial defeat in 2024.

“He will lose Red Wall seats (with majorities under 10,000) to Labour, and Blue Wall seats (majorities up to 20,000) to the Liberal Democrats.

“At least 160 MPs are at risk.”

The rebels need the votes of 180 Tory MPs - half of the current total of 359 - to win later today and successfully oust Mr Johnson from office.

His departure would be unlikely to happen imminently, however, as he would be expected to remain in post until a successor was chosen, a process that could last months.

The dossier also warned that: “The only way to end this misery, earn a hearing from the British public, and restore Conservative fortunes to a point where we can win the next general election, is to remove Boris Johnson.”

Those sharing the document were criticised by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith , who accused them of disrespectful behaviour during the Queen’s Jubilee.

He told the Daily Mail: “It is sad that during the course of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, some MPs took it upon themselves to drag internecine Conservative politics into the mix.

“It showed no respect for this great moment of celebration.”

But even as Mr Duncan Smith was speaking the prime minister was being informed that he would face the vote today. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful backbench 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, told Downing Street last night that he had received the 54 letters from Conservative MPs needed to trigger the ballot.

Now a secret ballot vote will take place at Westminster between 6pm and 8pm this evenig. The result is expected to be announced immediately afterwards.

Mr Johnson has faced a drip drip of calls from his won MPs to resign in the wake of the Sue Gray report into partiues and breaches of the Covid regulations in No 10 and Whitehall during the Covid pandemic.

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