Boris warned he faces leadership challenge in WEEKS after Tory revolt: Hes in danger!
Plan B: MPs vote in favour for Covid passes at large events
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The Prime Minister saw 97 MPs from his own party vote against Covid passes in the Commons last night. Mr Johnson introduced legislation on passes in a frantic bid to curb the spread of the Omicron variant ripping through the country at a terrifying pace.
Despite personal pleas from Mr Johnson for Conservatives to back his plan, the revolt was so large that his majority was wiped out, with the Prime Minister forced to rely on Labour to get the measures through the Commons.
The rebellion is thought to be the second-largest by Conservatives against their own leader, with only Theresa May’s first Meaningful Vote on Brexit seeing larger numbers.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the all-powerful 1922 Committee of Tory MPs responsible for organising leadership challenges, last night warned Mr Johnson was “in trouble” if he failed to get a grip soon.
The Cotswolds MP told Sky News: “He’s got to now be in some danger, and he’s got to realise that because if he doesn’t he’ll be in much bigger danger.
“If he realises he’s got it wrong, comes back in the new year and does things in a different way, consults the party more, then we’ve got a good chance of uniting.
“But if that doesn’t happen then we’re in trouble.”
He added a leadership challenge next year had “got to be on the cards”.
Conservative MPs were left furious ahead of last night’s vote accusing the Prime Minister of treating MPs with “disrespect”.
They were angry at Mr Johnson failing to consult Parliament about his plans, and asking MPs to approve some measures retrospectively.
Former chief whip Mark Harper, who now leads the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said last night’s rebellion sent a message to their leader.
He said: “The vote on vaccine passport was not just about that.
“It was about some messages on how the Government should be dealing with this issue but also about how it should be treating Parliament.
“It was a message to the Prime Minister that if he has to make any further decisions, they should be brought to Parliament in advance and if it’s during the recess and we have to recall Parliament then that is what we should do.
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“Parliament must be taken seriously not just for MPs but for our constituents on behalf of whom we probe ministers, test the evidence and ask important questions.
“I think this is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to look at the sizeable number of MPs who sent a clear message tonight that they want a change of approach.”
After a turbulent month for Mr Johnson, the House of Commons goes into recess for the Christmas period tomorrow.
The break will give the Prime Minister a chance to regather himself before looking to patch up relations with backbenchers in the new year.
This morning Transport Secretary Grant Shapps conceded the Government has at times been wrong in its approach to Covid votes and dealing with Parliament.
He told Sky News: “Governing is difficult, especially with something like coronavirus.
“There’s no textbook, there’s no manual to work through.
“I think this Government will have done some things where we haven’t got it right through coronavirus, we’ve also done some things where we’ve absolutely got it spot on.”
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