Boris Johnson clashes with Beth Rigby over Partygate probe
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But one senior ally of the PM has told Express.co.uk that Boris Johnson can hang on to his leadership if can “trust his instincts” and use his “political courage”. Hinting that a major fightback could be launched over the weekend, the ally added Mr Johnson “can rule for a decade”.
They said that after the PM’s disastrous interview with Sky’s Beth Rigby, “that weakened Boris is gone”.
They commented: “He is ready to fight.”
But the Met Police’s latest round of fines has sparked fury in the Parliamentary Conservative Party because they have been linked to the “bring your own” booze party in Downing Street.
An insider told Express.co.uk it is an “utter embarrassment” for the senior Tory leadership.
They added: “The PM said, at the 1922 Committee [on Tuesday], that the latest fines (the bring your booze one) was not a party.
“They are now starting to get fines. An utter embarrassment.”
It is also believed that Mr Johnson is due to get another four fines himself.
Tory MPs that are normally loyal to Mr Johnson have also dodged questions on the Prime Minister’s future, with Michael Fabricant refusing to answer questions from an Express.co.uk reporter on Friday evening.
Boding worse for the Prime Minister, who had been in India discussing trade and security, ministers have reportedly “gone to ground” as they anticipate “enormous damage” in the next general election.
One insider claimed that they are considering whom to support in a leadership election or run themselves.
An insider said: “There has been a complete breakdown today. Ministers have gone to ground, fury around the latest set of fines.
“This is dreadful – even if he survives, this does enormous damage to us in 2024.”
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The insider added there is an “acceptance” that some ministers “might have to get ready” for Mr Johnson’s departure.
Another ally said: “He is on the brink.”
But one loyalist MP complained to Express.co.uk that a number of MPs and ministers have “fallen for a Rejoiner plot”.
“This is all an attempt to reverse Brexit,” the MP added.
Downing Street staff are believed to have been irritated by Tory backbench consent to Opposition calls for a renewed look into Partygate by the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee.
MPs approved a probe into whether the Prime Minister misled Parliament about parties in Downing Street when strict Covid measures were in place.
Speaking from India, the PM said: “If the Opposition wants to focus on this and talk about it a lot more, that’s fine.”
He added he had “absolutely nothing, frankly, to hide”.
One ally said: “Look, he apologised 43 times on Tuesday, he took a beating and took it on the chin.
“All they (Tory MPs) had to do was vote to stop the inquiry.
“Yes the Opposition would have made a fuss but the political fallout would have been no different.
“But now we have to deal with yet another inquiry hanging over him and obscuring the agenda of turning this country round.”
The Johnson supporter added: “He can get through this and he probably will.”
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