Boris Johnson has been hit with a fresh wave of no-confidence letters after saying he is already planning for a third term in Downing Street, Tory rebels said last night.
The rebels revealed they had already been contacted by MPs submitting letters to the backbench 1922 committee in response to Mr Johnson saying he was “thinking actively” about fighting the next two general elections to take him past 2030.
One former cabinet minister said: “Talking about a third term before even winning a second is taking voters for granted. That usually doesn’t end well.”
Another said: “It has already provoked more letters,” while a third former cabinet minister previously loyal to Mr Johnson, added: “For some colleagues, it has an air of unreality which is annoying quite a few of them.”
It comes ahead of elections in the next fortnight for the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers where two MPs – Steve Baker and Andrew Bridgen – have already indicated they will stand and seek to change the rules to allow another confidence vote in the prime minister.
Mr Johnson is currently safe from a second confidence vote for a year after he won one narrowly this month. But this 12-month rule can be changed in a secret ballot by the 18-strong ruling executive of the 1922 committee.
Mr Bridgen said the prime minister’s comments would spark a backlash: “It will have that effect. I’ve been approached by a number of my colleagues who only two weeks ago voted they had confidence in the PM but now have buyers’ remorse.” (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022)