Boris Johnson given bombshell warning to lift lockdown soon or face leadership threat – from MP who ousted Theresa May

BORIS Johnson’s days in Downing Street are numbered unless he gives a clear path out of lockdown soon, influential Tories have warned.

Powerful backbencher Steve Baker, who was instrumental in the downfall of Theresa May, has privately said “it’s inevitable the Prime Minister’s leadership will be on the table.”

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Under threat, Boris Johnson warned his leadership is in peril


Under threat, Boris Johnson warned his leadership is in perilCredit: PA:Press Association

In an explosive rallying call to fellow members of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, the ex-minister blasted: “people are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative Party leadership.”

The group represents dozens of Tory backbenchers who are worried about the side effects of long lockdowns.

Mr Baker urged those colleagues to make their concerns directly to Mr Johnson’s Commons enforcer, Chief Whip Mark Spencer.


In a bombshell note to MPs seen by The Sun, Mr Baker writes: “I am sorry to have to say this again and as bluntly as this: it is imperative you equip the Chief Whip today with your opinion that debate will become about the PM’s leadership if the Government does not set out a clear plan for when our full freedoms will be restored.”

He told them to demand “a guarantee that this strategy will not be used again next winter.”

The major intervention reads: “Government has adopted a strategy devoid of any commitment to liberty without any clarification about when our most basic freedoms will be restored and with no guarantee that they will never be taken away again.”

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It comes as:

It continues: “People are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative Party leadership because they are not standing up for our values as a party.”

“If we continue forward with a strategy that hammers freedom, hammers the private sector, hammers small business owners and hammers the poor, inevitably the Prime Minister’s leadership will be on the table.

“We strongly do not want that after all we have been through as a country.”

But he later confirmed his support for the PM in a tweet, saying: “What this country needs is the complete success of @BorisJohnson, with his excellent EU deal, a successful vaccination programme and a #Road2Recovery back to freedom.

“I am clear Boris is the only person to lead us out of these difficulties and I support him in that endeavour.”

Steve Baker said the PM's leadership was under threat


Steve Baker said the PM’s leadership was under threatCredit: PA:Press Association
England's stressed have been eerily quiet since the third lockdown was introduced


England’s stressed have been eerily quiet since the third lockdown was introducedCredit: EPA

Mr Baker broke cover after government scientist Jonathan Van Tam told this newspaper yesterday that lockdown measures could be enforce until late spring.

And today controversial scientist Neil Ferguson said we could still be facing restrictions in the autumn.

Mr Baker raged: “Certain Government scientists have said that the current lockdown could last until late spring. There is no reason to think there will be any real resistance in Cabinet to the argument for greater and longer and more draconian restrictions on the public.

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“This could be a disaster. Nothing seems more certain to break the public than giving hope before taking it away, and doing it repeatedly.”

And he signs off with a barely concealed warning shot: “I am sorry to be blunt but if we do not act now, events will become inevitable. For the good of the country please contact the Chief Whip.”

Downing Street have been approached for comment. 

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner said: “The day after our country recorded the highest daily death toll since this crisis started, the Conservatives are playing politics and fighting amongst themselves.”


Jonathan Van-Tam says shutdown could last months as vaccine comes into effect


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