Tory 1922 Committee executive meets Boris Johnson in Downing Street

Leaders of backbench Conservative MPs held talks with the PM amid unrest over the Government’s recent performance.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers

The leaders of the Tory backbench MPs have been to see Boris Johnson in Downing Street amid continuing unrest within the party ranks at the Government’s performance.

The chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, confirmed that the executive had met the Prime Minister in No 10 but declined to comment on their discussions.

The meeting comes after a difficult few weeks for Mr Johnson which began with his botched attempt to overhaul the Commons standards rules for MPs leading to renewed accusations of Tory “sleaze”.

It was followed by criticisms that long-awaited announcements on rail improvements for the North and Midlands and the funding of adult social care in England failed to match previous promises.

Boris Johnson speaking during the CBI annual conference
Boris Johnson speaking during the CBI annual conference (Owen Humphreys/PA)

It culminated with his rambling speech to the CBI in which Mr Johnson mislaid part of his text and talked about his visit to the Peppa Pig World theme park.

There have been reports the Tory whips believe a number of MPs have submitted letters of no confidence in Mr Johnson to Sir Graham – although they remain far short of the 54 required under party rules to trigger a vote on his leadership.

Meanwhile, Downing Street has sought to play down reports of tensions between Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The Times reported that Mr Sunak was becoming increasingly frustrated with the “chaotic” operation in No 10.

The newspaper said the Chancellor’s chief of staff, Liam Booth-Smith, was being blamed for briefing that there was “a lot of concern in the building” about Mr Johnson.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman insisted that the teams in No 10 and No 11, where the Chancellor is based, “continue to work together very well at all levels”.

Asked if the Prime Minister had confidence in Mr Booth-Smith, the spokesman said: “Of course, the Prime Minister has confidence in the team at No 11. They work very closely together delivering on the public’s priorities.”

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