Rebel Tories are being threatened with deselection by Downing Street over rule change that would allow another confidence vote in Boris Johnson
- One rebel MP said of the threat: ‘No 10 is in such a mess, they are desperate’
- In June the Prime Minister survived confidence vote by the margin of 211 to 148
- He can’t be challenged for a year – but 1922 committee may change the rules
- The Mail on Sunday can reveal veteran Tory MP Sir Charles Walker plans to run
MPs are being threatened with deselection if they change the rules to hold another confidence vote in Boris Johnson as soon as this month.
A Downing Street source said that in such a scenario MPs risk the rules for their own position ‘changing on them every five minutes’. One rebel MP said of the threat: ‘No 10 is in such a mess, they are desperate.’
Another insider said the ‘threat of deselection’ is being ‘put around – both directly to some MPs and as rumours to others’.
In June the Prime Minister survived a vote of no confidence by the narrow margin of 211 to 148. Under existing rules he cannot be challenged again for a year. However, that can be changed at any time by the 18-strong ruling executive of the 1922 Committee, which is up for re-election. The committee’s senior members will choose a date for the election at their weekly meeting this Wednesday.
Downing Street last night said the 1922 elections will be the scene of a ‘proxy war’ for pro and anti-Johnson MPs.
A Downing Street source said that in such a scenario MPs risk the rules for their own position ‘changing on them every five minutes’
The Mail on Sunday can reveal Sir Charles Walker, the veteran Tory MP, plans to run. He does not support changing the rules.
Downing Street is expected to put forward a ‘slate’ of four or five pro-Boris candidates for positions.
One rebel MP told The Mail on Sunday they fear their side is less organised and may end up having too many candidates
‘The problem for our side is if have too many anti-Boris candidates, we could split the vote.’ Critical MPs including Andrew Bridgen and Steve Baker have already said they plan to run.
Ministerial aides – parliamentary private secretaries – who are on the Government’s payroll, will be allowed to vote, a source on the committee said last night.
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