The Hound

Boris Johnson

Two-thirds of 2019 Tory voters believe the PM is dishonest

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Boris’ “Operation Save Big Dog” is failing, if the latest Survation poll on Westminster voting intention is anything to go by. 

Keir Starmer’s Labour has gained another three points compared to last week, rising to 43%, while the Conservatives dropped yet another point, now trailing by a whole ten points on 33%.

More Survation polling of over 11,000 members of the public reveals that trust in Boris Johnson’s government has taken quite the hit this month. Amid the never-ending partygate saga, the percentage of the public which now believes that the government is dishonest has jumped five points to 70%. 

Perhaps most damningly, many of those espousing this view have voted Conservative in the past. Over half (53%) now say the Party they voted for is dishonest and 52% believe it lacks leadership – a stark increase of 10 points since December. And 68% of 2019 Conservative voters now believe the PM is dishonest – a 17-point increase. 

The findings of Sue Gray’s investigation, expected to land in the first half of next week, will unsettle the polls further. 

But even if Gray chooses to look kindly on the Prime Minister, how much will this really repair his battered reputation? According to Survation, 60% of the public do not have confidence in the government’s process for investigating alleged breaking of lockdown rules in Number 10. 

No 10 Downing Street

No 10 accused of blackmail by Tory MP

A Conservative MP has accused No 10 of intimidating and blackmailing MPs who are thought to be pushing for a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson. 

William Wragg, who chairs the public administration and constitutional affairs committee, said that No 10 staff, advisers and ministers were threatening the publication of embarrassing stories about, and the withdrawal of funding from, MPs who don’t toe the line.

He said: “The intimidation of a member of parliament is a serious matter. Moreover, the reports of which I’m aware would seem to constitute blackmail.” He advised colleagues to report these matters to the police. 

Wragg is one of the handful of Tory MPs to have publicly called for Johnson to resign, saying he was “tired” and “frankly worn out of defending what is invariably indefensible”. 

Wragg’s allegations are an indication of just how vulnerable the Prime Minister’s allies feel, and how ugly the mood in Tory ranks has become. 

Here is Wragg’s statement in full:

In recent days a number of members of parliament have faced pressures and intimidation from members of the government because of their declared or assumed desire for a vote of confidence in the party leadership of the prime minister.

It is of course the duty of the government whip’s office to secure the government’s business in the House of Commons.

However it is not their function to breach the ministerial code in threatening to withdraw investments from members of parliament’s constituencies which are funded from the public purse.

Additionally, reports to me and others of members of staff at No 10 Downing Street, special advisers, government ministers and others encouraging the publication of stories in the press seeking to embarrass those who they suspect of lacking confidence in the prime minister is simply unacceptable.

The intimidation of a member of parliament is a serious matter. Moreover, the reports of which I’m aware would seem to constitute blackmail. As such, it would be my general advice to colleagues report these matters to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and they’re also welcome to contact me at any time.

David Davis in the House of Commons.

David Davis to PM: In the name of God, go

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David Davis has called on Boris Johnson to resign, in an extraordinary piece of political theatre in the Commons.

“I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take,” the former Brexit secretary and MP of 34 years told a hushed chamber at PMQs. “Yesterday [the PM] did the opposite of that. So I’ll remind him of a quotation altogether too familiar to him of Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain: ‘You have sat there too long for all the good you have done. In the name of God, go.’”

The room erupted. The Prime Minister was stunned. His Cabinet colleagues sat there in silence as Boris blathered a response.

Davis, who said he had spent weeks defending the Prime Minister from angry constituents, is the most senior Tory yet to demand Johnson’s resignation. It’s a sign that the dynamic within the Tory party really is shifting against Johnson.

As MPs trickled out of the chamber, the Commons microphone picked up Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle’s muttered summary of what he had just witnessed: “What. A. Day”.