Boost for Boris as powerful Tory 1922 committee chief says ban on PM facing another confidence vote for a YEAR is ‘likely to remain in place’
- Boris Johnson managed to survive a Tory confidence vote scare earlier this week
- Backbench chief says rule against another happening for a year likely to remain
- Some rebels had suggested the rules should be changed to allow earlier move
Sir Graham Brady insisted the rule is ‘likely to stay in place’ despite muttering from rebels that it could be changed to oust the PM before next June.
At present, a Conservative leader who wins a no-confidence vote cannot face another for 12 months.
But after 148 MPs joined the revolt against Mr Johnson there has been speculation about an attempt to shorten the period.
That would require the support of a majority on the 1922 executive.
Asked about the prospect on Times Radio, Sir Graham said: ‘It’s not something that we as an executive have discussed at all in this parliament.
‘There was a point in the previous parliament when those discussions took place at length, we ended up without changing the rule.
‘Obviously, I’ve reflected quite a lot on this, because of the amount of speculation has been in the media.
‘Of course, it is technically possible that laws can be changed in the future. And it’s possible that rules can be changed in the future.
‘But I think it’s important we say the rule that is in place, and is likely to remain in place is that there is a year’s period of grace following a confidence vote.’
Boris Johnson was boosted today as the powerful Tory 1922 committee chief said the party is likely to keep the year ban on him facing another confidence vote
Sir Graham Brady insisted the rule is ‘likely to stay in place’ despite muttering from rebels that it could be changed to oust the PM before next June
After Theresa May’s victory in her no-confidence vote in 2018, some campaigned for the period to be cut to six months, but she resigned within months anyway.
Many rebels have backed away from calling for a quick re-run of the confidence vote, although some say Mr Johnson might only have months left in Downing Street.
The stage is set for another bumpy spell with the Tories widely expected to lose by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton.
Former Chancellor Lord Hammond – a long-term enemy of Mr Johnson – said today that he believes the premier will be out before the next general election.
‘I can’t say whether he will be Prime Minister going into 2023, but I don’t think that he will lead the party into the next general election,’ he told Bloomberg.
‘A rebellion on this scale is very difficult to survive and I think he will find that his authority in the party ebbs away over the next few months.’
He went on: ‘I don’t know whether he realises, but I know that Boris Johnson’s instinct now will be to reach for popular policies, do the populist thing, and try to offer people what in the short term they think they want.
‘Unfortunately we’re at a point in our economic cycle where what we need is a dose of realism. We have some challenges in this country to face.
‘The sooner we get to grips with them, and face them honestly and openly, the quicker we’ll get out of them and the better chance we’ve got of resuming a strong growth parth and rebuilding living standards.’
Jeremy Hunt was one of the leading figures in the revolt against Mr Johnson this week