Boris Johnson 'is a vote winner for Labour' says Sadiq Khan
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Mr Johnson promised a sharp Cabinet reshuffle following the publication of the damning report from civil servant Sue Gray into lockdown parties in Downing Street. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister delivered on that pledge in what many saw as a move to boost support among Tory MPs, particularly from some of his most loyal colleagues. But many have claimed the small Cabinet reshuffle is just another distraction technique in the Prime Minister’s arsenal.
Stephen Bush, Political Editor of the New Statesman, argued Mr Johnson is “rapidly running out of displacement activities to avoid accepting” that “the real problem in Downing Street is not the officials or the whips, but the Prime Minister”.
On Monday Sir Bernard Jenkin, Conservative chair of the Commons liaison committee, told Sky News: “We are interested not in the optics of some impression of a reset.
“We’re looking for a change in the capability and character of the Government so we can have confidence that nothing as clumsy and mortifying as the partygate episode can ever happen again.”
But reacting to our initial story, one Express.co.uk reader issued a warning to Tory MPs to expect a voter rebellion at the ballot boxes that could have Sir Keir Starmer and Labour the keys to Number 10.
Express reader “bru62” warned: “Message to the Conservative MPs.
“If you ditch Boris you lose not only my vote but many many more.
“Get it into your heads that the 80 seat majority is because we voted for Boris and not you. Your choice.”
“Shut that door” also warned: “If you think Boris doesn’t have the support to remain as PM, you need to give your head a wobble.
“The Tories are in power because of Boris.”
One reader highlighted the small number of Tory MPs who have submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of influential Tory backbenchers.
A total of 54 are needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister.
Express reader “DRX” urged the Tories to now get behind Mr Johnson, writing: “If Tory MPs want Boris to go then circa 45 of them need to add their letters to those already sent.
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“If they don’t want to put letters in they should get behind Boris, stop tittle-tattle and get on with tacking the serious issues the country faces.”
Fellow Express reader “washing machine” mocked the premiership credentials of Labour leader Sir Keir, commenting: “Boris not perfect but that is what makes him great.
“Stammer not perfect but that is what makes him unelectable.”
Earlier today, Mr Johnson said laws requiring people in England with Covid to self-isolate could be lifted within weeks – a move that could help him gain support from infuriated backbenchers.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, he said a plan will be presented for “living with Covid” when Parliament returns from its next recess on February 21.
Mr Johnson indicated that, as long as the Covid data continues to remain positive, the legal duty to self-isolate will be lifted a month earlier than planned.
He said: “It is my intention to return on the first day after the half-term recess to present our strategy for living with Covid.
“Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions – including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive – a full month early.”
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