After Boris Johson’s shambolic performance this week, many are asking whether his future in office is doomed.
Johnson’s defence line has been “wait for Sue Gray’s investigation”. But the investigation by the senior civil servant is unlikely to be a smoking gun. Instead it will likely be a Whitehall work of perfection, cold and detached. Sue Gray won’t be the one ousting the prime minister.
Only his party can do that – with a vote of no confidence. It can be triggered if 54 Tory MPs write a letter to the chair of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady. Only then will MPs get to vote on his premiership.
But the letters performance is sometimes just that – a performance. In 2018, MPs were said to be sending empty letters to Brady just to wind him up. Sometimes it’s more of a pose for the press than a real act of rebellion. Or at least this is what the prime minister would like to think.