TORY rebels trying to oust Boris Johnson are going against the public, who do not want months of leadership wrangling, Dominic Raab said last night
The PM’s deputy warned Conservatives against the “Westminster navel-gazing” which would be triggered by a contest.
He said the two people in the Commons who want one are Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.
And he told Sky News: “They’re not asking for it because they think it’s in the public interest. I think there’s some political gain for them.”
Mr Raab was wheeled out amid a Cabinet Partygate fightback.
There is growing expectation of a vote of confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership next week.
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Dashing hopes of a Jubilee weekend truce, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries also let rip at sniping MPs.
She claimed: “The overwhelming number of Conservative MPs are fully behind the Prime Minister
“There is — probably led by one or two individuals — a campaign behind the scenes to attempt to remove the Prime Minister for individual reasons to do with personal ambition.”
The fightback came as Mr Johnson claimed quitting over the “miserable” Partygate scandal would be irresponsible.
He denied suggestions he is a “habitual liar”.
And he told Mumsnet his reasons for not “abandoning ship” are huge pressures on the economy, the war in Ukraine and the “massive agenda” he was elected to deliver.
The PM was challenged about the gathering for which he received a fixed penalty notice.
He replied: “If people look at the event in question, it felt to me like a work event. I was there for a very short period of time in the Cabinet Office at my desk.
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“I was very, very surprised and taken aback to get an FPN. Of course I paid it.”
He claimed he was justified in attending leaving parties because it was important to “keep morale high”.