Boris heads on by-election campaign trail as Lord Frost warns he cannot ‘ignore’ scale of Tory revolt and could still be out of No10 in MONTHS – while poll shows Labour eight points ahead after coup bid
- Lord Frost has said Mr Johnson can’t ignore the depth of his MPs’ opposition
- PM has until autumn to deliver a new vision or he will be forced out, Frost said
- Frost’s anti-Brexit peers warned ministers that they will obstruct legislation to over-ride parts of the Northern Ireland protocol
Boris Johnson is heading on the by-election campaign trail today as he tries to get back on track after the Tory confidence vote meltdown.
The PM is expected in Tiverton & Honiton, where his party is desperately trying to fend off a challenge from the Lib Dems.
But Mr Johnson is facing more noises off after former Brexit minister Lord Frost warned he cannot ‘ignore’ the scale of discontent among his MPs, and might only have months to save his job.
The Redfield & Wilton Strategies research put Keir Starmer’s part on 40 per cent support – up two since Sunday – while the Tories were down two on 32 per cent.
Lord Frost urged Mr Johnson not to ‘ignore’ the scale of discontent among his MPs
Tories are increasingly resigned to defeat in the Devon contest on June 23, triggered by the resignation of Neil Parish after admitting viewing porn in the Commons chamber.
The party also appears to be facing a hammering in the separate by-election in Red Wall seat Wakefield, which is happening on the same day.
Lord Frost said another attempt to oust Mr Johnson could come after party conference in October, unless he rapidly changes course.
‘Every Prime Minister has weaknesses and blind spots,’ Lord Frost wrote in The Daily Telegraph.
‘The issue is whether they are able to compensate for them by having the right people, by taking good advice and by setting a clear policy direction with broad support. The PM probably has between now and the party conference to show he can do that.’
The Tory peer said Mr Johnson can’t ignore the depth of his MPs’ opposition.
‘Boris Johnson has been granted the right to give the Government a fresh start. He deserves that opportunity when one looks at all he has done for the country since becoming Prime Minister. But he needs to get a move on.’
It came as anti-Brexit peers warned ministers that they will obstruct legislation to over-ride parts of the Northern Ireland protocol.
Ken Clarke said a controversial Bill to be unveiled by ministers early next week will be ‘seriously challenged’ in the Lords.
The Tory former chancellor, a strong supporter of the EU, expects a ‘very large majority’ of peers will ‘hold it up for a considerable time’.
As part of Brexit negotiations, the UK and EU agreed to the Northern Ireland protocol, which is designed to avoid the need for a border on the island of Ireland.
But this has led to disruption to goods crossing the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with new checks imposed on those moving to the province.
The Government intends to use domestic law to over-ride aspects of the post-Brexit arrangements to reduce the checks required. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to publish the legislation early next week.
Tory grandee Michael Howard said he expected the new legislation will ‘undoubtedly encounter a rocky road’ in the Lords.