Raab dismisses PM no confidence letters as 'tittle tattle' as party rating plummets

24 November 2021, 08:49 | Updated: 24 November 2021, 10:01

Dominic Raab has dismissed claims Boris Johnson has been the subject of a number of no confidence letters
Dominic Raab has dismissed claims Boris Johnson has been the subject of a number of no confidence letters. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Daisy Stephens

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has dismissed reports that letters of no confidence in Boris Johnson have been submitted by Tory MPs as "Westminster tittle tattle".

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A Tory whip said at least one Tory MP has submitted a letter to the 1922 committee, with a second one saying a number of the "usual suspects" had also done so, according to The Telegraph.

The committee, made up of backbench Conservative MPs, collects no confidence letters and if 15 per cent of sitting Tories submit them a leadership contest is triggered.

Whilst it is reportedly unlikely this threshold - which equates to 50 letters - will be reached, it is a sign of growing disquiet within the party.

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But Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab dismissed the claims as "the usual Westminster tittle tattle", saying he was not aware of them.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at breakfast, Mr Raab said: "There will always be the scrutiny, the noisiness, that comes to British politics.

"Frankly, overwhelmingly - and I talk to colleagues, MPs on the backbenches on all sides all the time - there is huge support for what we're doing and what the Prime Minister is doing."

The claims have also been dismissed by Downing Street, with the Prime Minister's spokesperson saying Boris Johnson is "very much focussed on delivering for the public", adding he "still has a grip".

Sir Graham Brady - the 1922 committee chairman, and the only individual other than the author of the no confidence letter who is directly involved in the process - declined to comment on the claims.

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It follows a series of public mishaps including the Tory sleaze scandal and the controversial scrapping of the Leeds leg of HS2.

The party's polling has taken a battering as a result, as the public appeared to grow increasingly frustrated with their handling of things.

At the beginning of the month, the Conservatives were neck-and-neck with Labour, reflecting the public anger at what some saw as a 'one rule for them' attitude.

And on November 13, Labour overtook the Tories for the first time since January when the Government imposed last-minute restrictions over Christmas.

Keir Starmer's party recorded 37 per cent support in the wake of the recent Paterson row, according to the Opinium poll for the Observer, putting it at one point ahead of the Conservatives.

More recently, the Government has announced a scrapping of the Leeds leg of HS2, a U-turn that Labour said equated to "betraying" the North.

And yesterday the Government's controversial reforms to social care survived a Tory rebellion, to the dismay of critics who said the plans will hit poorer pensioners hardest.

But despite Boris Johnson's majority of 80, the plans passed by just 26 votes, another signal of growing disquiet within the party.

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