PMQs Live: Boris Johnson faces questions over leadership after Tory MPs ‘submit letters of no confidence’


oris Johnson will face a series of tough questions from Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs on Wednesday amid growing frustration in Tory ranks over his leadership of the party.

It follows a difficult two-week period for the Government as Downing Street faced a series of rebellions over sleaze, social care and the decision to scrap Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Deputy prime minister and justice secretary Dominic Raab insisted that Mr Johnson was on “great form” after a rambling, incoherent speech given to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on Monday provoked alarm among MPs.

The address, in which Mr Johnson compared himself to Moses, digressed into a story about a visit to Peppa Pig World and forgot his place, sparked criticism among MPs who accused him of failing to take business seriously.

Mr Raab on Tuesday dismissed reports that disgruntled Tory MPs were sending in letters of no confidence in Boris Johnson to the 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady as “Westminster tittle-tattle”.

Live updates


What has been going wrong for the PM?

Boris Johnson will shortly welcome questions from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

But before questions begin, we take a quick look at the challenges facing the prime minister:

Leadership. On Monday, Boris Johnson gave a speech to business leaders in which he referenced a trip to Peppa Pig World, mimicked a car engine noise, compared himself to Moses and lost his place for an awkward 21 seconds. It was not brushed off as Johnsonian eccentricity; rumours have instead swirled about his fitness to govern.

Social care. Nineteen Tory MPs voted against the government on social care reforms, which will mean that only the amount a person personally contributes to their care costs will count towards the £86,000 cap.

Sleaze: The Government has faced heavy criticism for its handling of the Owen Paterson sleaze scandal. The row triggered a debate over MPs’ second jobs.

Transport: The downgrading of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail sparked fury in the North of England, particularly among MPs in red-wall seats whose majorities are on a knife-edge at the next General Election.


PMQs: What can we expect?

Boris Johnson faces a difficult test on Wednesday afternoon as MPs stream into the House of Commons.

A series of damaging headlines over his handling of the sleaze scandal, the downgrading of transport infrastructure plans in the North of England and a backlash over changes to social care legislation have trimmed his party’s poll lead and sparked fresh questions over the trajectory of his leadership.

Rumours that Tory MPs have already submitted letters of no confidence to Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, will cause alarm in Downing Street. Only 15 per cent of sitting MPs would need to submit a letter to trigger a vote of no confidence in the PM.

One MP told the Daily Telegraph: “Is this the start of more of that? If the next month is like the last month, and horror stories continue, more letters will be submitted.”

As such, Sir Keir Starmer is likely to grill the prime minister over his control of the party and probe ministers’ changes to social care and transport plans.


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