Downing Street party fiasco: Boris Johnson decides to fight back

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine): A few of his would-be assassins have been persuaded to offer him a respite until the Whitehall “partygate” report is revealed, according to the PM’s backers.

Boris Johnson is clinging to power defiantly, saying that he would not resign even if his Tory opponents push a vote of confidence in his leadership.

The prime minister’s determination of fighting back is strong, bolstered by reports that Tory plotters are split on when to execute their coup and who should be his successor.

Mr Johnson’s supporters also feel that Christian Wakeford’s defection from the Conservative Party in Bury South has rallied some swaying Conservative backbenchers around the vulnerable PM.

Some of the PM’s would-be assassins have been persuaded to give him a respite until the Whitehall “partygate” report is revealed, according to the PM’s supporters.

The report, written by senior civil servant Sue Gray, is now anticipated next week, and the PM’s allies will put enormous pressure on dissident MPs to hold off until then.

Boris Johnson has launched a counter-offensive

As the PM fights for survival, some MPs believe the number of letters to 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady requesting a confidence vote has risen to around 30, still far short of the 54 needed to force a vote.

Meanwhile, the prime minister, who appeared gloomy in a TV interview on Tuesday, is claimed to be ready to confront his critics and has told allies, “Bring it on.”

Mr Johnson now faces a tax confrontation after seeking to pay off dissidents with “red meat” plans such as abandoning COVID Plan B restrictions, assaulting the BBC, and sending gunboats to the English Channel.

In exchange for their backing, the rebels are demanding a U-turn on the highly contested £12 billion-a-year tax hike through higher national insurance contributions for funding social and health care.