Boris Johnson clinging to power amid anxious wait to see if vote triggered to oust him

Boris Johnson faces a wait to see if enough Tory MPs demand a no-confidence vote in his premiership. During Prime Minister’s Question, David Davis called for the PM to resign

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Boris Johnson: No confidence vote ‘will happen’ says Bridgen

Boris Johnson was tonight ­clinging to power after Tory bigwig David Davis demanded he quit.

And the PM faces a wait to see if MPs trigger a vote to oust him, as Red Wall MP Christian Wakeford defected to Labour.

Mr Davis told him: “In the name of God, go.” He was quoting a plea to Tory PM Neville Chamberlain in 1940.

Mr Johnson’s crumbling authority was dealt a crushing blow today with a Red Wall defection and yet more calls to quit over Partygate.

And as the PM faced an anxious wait to see whether MPs trigger a vote of no confidence in him, Tory heavyweight David Davis was among those demanding his head.

Boris Johnson faces a wait to see if MPs trigger a vote to oust him



One senior Tory warned Mr Johnson’s position was now “in the balance”, as Bury South MP ­Christian Wakeford switched to the Labour benches. He insisted his former boss had not delivered on his promises to Red Wall voters.

But the deepest cut came from former Brexit Secretary Mr Davis, who said the PM’s disastrous TV interview on Tuesday over ­Partygate convinced him he should quit. He told a hushed Commons: “I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take.

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford (centre) defected to Labour



“Yesterday he did the opposite of that. So, I will remind him of a quotation which may be familiar to his ear, Leopold Amery to Neville Chamberlain, ‘You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go.’” The line was first uttered by Oliver ­Cromwell to the Long ­Parliament in 1653.

David Davis called for the Prime Minister to resign



But Mr Davis’s ­reference will have stung more as it was repeated by Tory Mr Leopold at a debate in 1940, which ­triggered Chamberlain’s resignation as PM and ushered Mr Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill into No10.

He claimed he had never heard the quote, which was met with ­ridicule as he wrote a book about Mr Churchill.

Mr Davis is one of seven MPs who have publicly called for Mr Johnson to go.

His damning attack came moments after the PM was ambushed by Mr ­Wakeford’s ­defection. Escorted by Labour whip Chris Elmore at PMQs, he “crossed the floor of the House” wearing a union flag face mask, and sat behind Keir Starmer.

Keir Starmer welcomed Christian Wakeford to the Labour Party



Opposition MPs cheered and waved order papers as their new colleague assumed his position, while furious Tories sat in stunned silence.

Shameless Mr Johnson refused to quit and during a Commons mauling by the Labour leader and other MPs, he again hid behind Sue Gray’s probe into Partygate and trotted out tired boasts about vaccines and boosters.

But 10 Tory MPs elected in the Red Wall ­election victory of 2019 were reported to have sent letters to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tories, demanding a confidence vote in Mr Johnson’s leadership. Once 54 are received, a poll is triggered.

Boris Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons



Later, government whips were said to be stationed in the corridor outside Sir Graham’s office.

It was aimed at ­gathering ­intelligence on rebel MPs, while trying to deter and ­intimidate them in what will be a test of their nerve.

One senior Tory, who has refused to put in a letter, said: “The PM’s stock in trade is popularity, if that’s gone, what’s left? A no ­confidence vote will be a disaster, even if he wins, it’s a hollow victory, it starts the stopwatch on his departure.

“He’ll have to keep going through the streets like Henry II being ­flagellated by the public.

Sue Gray is carrying out an inquiry


Parliament TV)

“I don’t see how that stops.”

Mr Wakeford had told Mr Johnson in his defection letter the Tories “are doing nothing to help the people of my constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse”.

He added: “Both you and the party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership this country deserves.”

Worried newly elected MPs in the North and Midlands fear they will lose their seats if Mr Johnson leads them at the next election, due in May 2024.

A JL Partners poll for Channel 4 News tonight showed Tories face a Red Wall wipeout, losing all but three of the Labour ­strongholds they seized.

At PMQs, Mr Starmer tore into the PM over a string of parties at No10 during lockdown of 2020.

He highlighted the fridge taken into Downing Street for “wine-time Friday” boozing sessions and Mr Johnson’s “ridiculous” claim he believed the notorious “bring your own booze” bash was a “work event”.

He also mentioned allegations staff took a suitcase to a local shop to fill it with drinks, joking they could help the PM pack his bags as he leaves power.

Senior Tories tipped to take over from Mr Johnson include bookies’ favourite Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

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