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By Baroness Smith of Llanfaes
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Dominic Raab Insists Boris Johnson Will Not Face A Confidence Vote Next Week

3 min read

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has said he does not believe a vote of confidence in Boris Johnson will take place next week, despite a mounting number of MPs submitting letters to trigger the process.

Raab, who also serves as Justice Secretary, told Sky News this morning that he believed discussions of the Prime Minister losing the support of the parliamentary Conservative party boils down to media hype.

So far 28 Tory MPs have publicly called for Johnson to resign, primarily in response to the findings of civil servant Sue Gray’s report into gatherings held in Downing Street and Whitehall during lockdown. 

If 54 MPs submit letters of no confidence in Johnson to the backbench 1922 committee chair Sir Graham Brady, a Commons vote on Johnson's leadership will be triggered. While Brady keeps the number secret until the threshold of 54 is reached, it is now widely believed that the number could tip over as early as next week. 

But asked by Sky's Kay Burley if he believed Johnson would face a confidence vote next week, Raab was sceptical. 

"No. I think the Westminster bubble, village, whips this stuff up and I'm not saying it's not serious and significant but we dealt with all those issues, the prime minister has dealt with all those issues," he said. 

"It does feel like a lot of commentary building up this issue when actually, when I talk to MPs and across the House of Commons on the issues I'm taking forward... they want to see us driving forward that agenda.

“To be honest with you, votes of no confidence, leadership contests, all of that is yet more Westminster talking to itself, not talking to the public, not talking to our constituents,” he added.

“I think the vast majority of MPs respect, recognise and agree with that.”

Senior Conservatives including select committee chairs Caroline Nokes and Tobias Ellwood, and former ministers Stephen Hammond and Jeremy Wright, are among those seeking a change in party leadership.

Beyond the 28 MPs who have declared their lack of confidence in Johnson, a further 13 have made strong public critiques of the Prime Minister, including former minister Andrea Leadsom and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Tom Tugendhat.

As well as tackling the fallout from MPs over partygate, Johnson is also now facing the prospect of his independent ethics adviser, Lord Geidt, resigning from his post.

A public exchange of letters between the pair on Tuesday evening showed Geidt has been frustrated by an apparent failure from Johnson to explain whether he believed his partygate fine breached the ministerial code.

The prime minister blamed communication issues from members of both parties’ teams as the reason why no explanation had yet been provided. He argued that the ministerial code had not been broken.

Speaking on Times Radio this morning Raab stated that Johnson has now “very squarely” addressed Geidts concerns.

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