Thirty-four Conservative MPs have now questioned Boris Johnson’s leadership as the fallout from partygate continues for the Prime Minister.
Twenty-four MPs have publicly said Johnson should leave Number 10, which is an increase of nine since the full Sue Gray report into the parties scandal was released on Wednesday.
A Conservative party leadership challenge will be triggered if 54 letters of no confidence are sent to the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers.
The Prime Minister this week apologised for the widespread Covid rule breaking in Downing Street throughout 2020 and 2021, but maintains that he was unaware that any of these events were in breach of his own rules.
Johnson’s response to the release of the Sue Gray report led to London MPs Stephen Hammond, Bob Neill and David Simmons to send in letters of no confidence.
The Prime Minister’s decision on Friday to alter the wording of the ministerial code, to mandate that not all breaches are resigning offences, also caused rancour among some sections of the Tory party.
However, it is widely expected that rebel MPs do not have the numbers to force a leadership contest any time soon.
Some MPs who previously called for Johnson to resign in January withdrew their letters of no confidence and cited the PM’s role in supporting Ukraine against Russia as a key reason for the change of heart.