No10 in chaos as Boris Johnson's spokesman forced to insist 'the PM is well'

Boris Johnson is under pressure, with one senior Tory branding it ‘amateur hour at the London Palladium – lurching from one self-inflicted c**k-up to the other’

Boris Johnson is under pressure from his own party after a string of high-profile political blunders
Boris Johnson is under pressure from his own party after a string of high-profile political blunders

Boris Johnson’s spokesman was forced to declare the Prime Minister “is well” after recent chaos sparked concern over Downing Street.

The PM is under pressure from his own party after a string of controversies over Tory sleaze and broken promises on rail and social care.

Restive Tories narrowly backed the PM in a vote to water down the cap on how much people pay in lifetime care costs, reducing his 80-strong majority to just 26 MPs.

The vote came hours after Mr Johnson delivered a chaotic speech to business leaders at the CBI, where he rambled about a visit to Peppa Pig World, lost his place in his speech and made car noises.

Senior Tory Jeremy Hunt admitted that it had “not been a great month” for the Government, “not just on trivial issues like speeches going wrong but on much more serious issues like parliamentary standards”.

Boris Johnson loses his place in a key CBI speech



Anger appears to be bubbling up behind the scenes, with a senior Tory telling the Mirror: “He’s lost his invincibility virginity, and once you lose that you can’t get it back.”

They added: “I think what seems to have dawned on a lot of people is we are more than likely looking towards a change of leader before the next election rather than 18 months after the next election.

“It’s like amateur hour at the London Palladium – lurching from one self-inflicted c**k-up to the other.”

Meanwhile, a senior Downing Street source told the BBC : “There is a lot of concern inside the building about the PM….It’s just not working.

“Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it’ll keep getting worse. If they don’t insist, he just won’t do anything about it.”

Another Government source admitted there was nervousness in Downing Street after what appeared to be “stumble after stumble”, telling the Times: “People are sharpening their knives.

“The operation should be spotting those things and heading them off.”

The Prime Minister’s spokesman was pressed repeatedly on whether Mr Johnson was struggling to maintain control after a string of political blunders.

Asked if the PM has a grip of government at the moment, his spokesman said: “Of course, and again I point to the CBI themselves who when asked about the speech said leaders will be heartened to hear the PM talk passionately about the role of the private sector working in partnership in Government to achieve our shared ambitions for a high wage, high skill, high investment economy.”

Boris Johnson was forced into a damaging U-turn after trying to save Tory Owen Paterson from being sanctioned for lobbying



Pressed on why he messed up that speech, he said: “The PM briefly lost his place in the speech. He has given hundreds of speeches. I don’t think it’s unusual for people on rare occasions to lose their place in a speech.”

Asked if Mr Johnson is ok, the spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is very much focused on delivering for the public”

Asked if he has got over a recent cold, he said: “The Prime Minister is well, he’s focused on delivering for the public. I’m not going to get into questions, as a rule, on people’s health.”

Downing Street refused to be drawn on “anonymous source quotes” about the PM’s leadership.

The PM’s spokesman said: “The Prime Minister, as you have seen from Cabinet, is focused on the issues that we face as we come up to the winter months and delivering on important changes like social care.”

He rejected claims that the Cabinet were not involved enough in decision-making.

Mr Hunt, a former Cabinet Minister, admitted there were complaints within the Tory party but said there were always “noises off in Westminster”.

“It wasn’t a great moment and it hasn’t been a great month for the Government,” he told TimesRadio.

“I’m sure there are things that we can do better. But I was in the Cabinet for nine years from 2010 and frankly there’s never been a time when there weren’t noises off in Westminster, there weren’t backbench MPs with complaints about the way the Government is operating.”

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