Boris Johnson is facing a growing backlash from Tory sleaze, and MPs are imagining life without him.

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Boris Johnson can’t escape the backlash of Tory sleaze, and MPs are already planning for life after him.

‘We smell danger like a herd of elephants,’ a senior backbencher says.

‘There’s been a noticeable tremor, and we’re worried and upset.’

Boris Johnson attended the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall last Saturday night to commemorate the Royal British Legion’s 100th anniversary.

The BBC broadcasted the event, which was a moving tribute to all those who had died in wars since World War I.

Even in the gloomy splendour of the evening, I’m told the Prime Minister couldn’t avoid the ongoing backlash over his handling of the ‘Tory sleaze’ affair.

He was warned by one senior colleague, who was present with other MPs, that he should draw a line in the sand by apologizing for his own misjudgment in using Owen Paterson’s case as a battering ram for broader standards reform.

Johnson retorted impatiently, “I’m not bloody apologizing.”

Less than 24 hours later, at an impromptu Downing Street press conference to celebrate the end of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, the Prime Minister grudgingly came close to expressing regret for his personal role in the disaster.

“To put it another way, I believe that things could have been handled better…by me.”

He croakily nudged his not-quite-apology a step further a few days later, in front of the Commons Liaison Committee after a bruising PMQs.

The attempt to link Paterson’s case to a rigged system reform had been “a total mistake…I completely accept that,” he admitted.

That was a lot of words, but not an apology, to paraphrase Keir Starmer.

With the polls tightening (though many voters have switched to ‘don’t know’ rather than Labour), Starmer’s characterization of Johnson as “a coward, not a leader” rang true with some Conservative backbenchers.

And it’s not just the Prime Minister’s handling of sleaze and second jobs that has his troops worried.

In a deliberate inversion of Tony Blair’s 1997 victory anthem, one MP half-jokes, “Things can only get worse.”

The list of Tory woes this winter is growing almost as quickly as inflation: a “cost of living” crisis, which will be exacerbated by energy bill increases and tax hikes next April; a backlash.

UK news summary from Infosurhoy

Boris Johnson can’t escape the backlash of Tory sleaze, and MPs are already planning for life after him.

Boris Johnson can’t escape the growing backlash of Tory sleaze – now MPs are imagining life after him

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Boris Johnson can’t escape the growing backlash of Tory sleaze – now MPs are imagining life after him

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