BBC host plays clip of Jubilee crowd booing Boris to Sajid Javid
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The Conservatives are the most ruthless party at dispensing with leaders who are no longer up to the task of either getting the job done or, more importantly, winning the next election. This is why even Britain’s great peacetime Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, of the 20th century, was forced out ignominiously after more than a decade of being in power. But the process of getting rid of a leader is almost always painful and never straightforward.
Once enough Conservative MPs have mustered the courage to put in a letter calling for a contest calling for a vote of confidence, there is always the expectation that the leader will win.
The aim of the game is to inflict enough damage on their authority to force them out.
After all for Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, the shop steward of Tory MPs, to have received enough letters, 15 percent of the Parliamentary party will have turned against the Prime Minister.
The feeling is that around 100 maybe more Tory MPs will vote to have him out.
One MP believes that one-third of his ministers are willing to vote against him “in the privacy of the ballot box”.
But it is unlikely to be enough immediately.
Mrs May had 117 votes against her in late 2018, she vowed to fight on having got 200 in favour but it was all over within months opening the way for Mr Johnson to “get Brexit done”.
So, rebels have a plan to try to force the Prime Minister, already called “Operation Boot Boris”, revealed by Express.co.uk this morning.
With the backing of donors, they intend to target the Conservative grassroots supporters to persuade them to join the effort to push the Prime Minister out.
Many major donors are already holding their money back and the booing of Mr Johnson at St Paul’s for the Jubilee thanksgiving has had a profound effect on Conservative MPs.
This was a crowd of naturally conservative Royalists, not leftwing eco-warriors or Labour supporters.
The main issue is that they think Partygate has severed Boris Johnson’s touch with ordinary voters and he is no longer a winner.
This week’s tracker poll for Express.co.uk by Techne UK shows the Conservatives have dropped to eight points behind Labour which opens the door to a Labour/ Lib Dem/ SNP alliance.
As one Tory MP put it: “That puts the Union at risk and means we could see Brexit reversed.”
They see this as a matter of life and death for the party.
If Mr Johnson gets more than 100 votes against him for many people it will seem only a matter of time for him.
But some supporters of Boris Johnson argue that if he survives a vote this week he will be safe because the rules prevent another vote for 12 months.
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And there is even some well-informed speculation that he would call an early election in October to recement his authority.
A dossier being shared among Conservative MPs detailing why the Prime Minister needs to go, specifically raises the concern of an early election as a last gamble by Mr Johnson.
This would be a nightmare for Tory MPs, many of whom believe he has the wrong policy platform especially with his tax rises and more importantly has lost the magic touch with voters after the Partygate scandal of lockdown drinks events in Downing Street.
It’s a big week in British politics but perhaps only the start of the last chapter in Boris Johnson’s Premiership.
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