Boris Johnson given bombshell warning – lift lockdown soon or face leadership threat
BORIS Johnson’s days in Downing Street are numbered unless he gives a clear path out of lockdown soon, influential Tories have warned.
Powerful backbencher Steve Baker, who was instrumental in the downfall of Theresa May, has privately said “its inevitable the Prime Minister’s leadership will be on the table.”
In an explosive rallying call to fellow members of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, the ex-minister blasts: “people are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative Party leadership.”
The group represents dozens of Tory backbenchers who are worried about the side effects of long lockdowns.
Mr Baker urges those colleagues to make their concerns directly to Mr Johnson’s Commons enforcer, Chief Whip Mark Spencer.
In a bombshell note to MPs seen by The Sun, Mr Baker writes: “I am sorry to have to say this again and as bluntly as this: it is imperative you equip the Chief Whip today with your opinion that debate will become about the PM’s leadership if the Government does not set out a clear plan for when our full freedoms will be restored, with a guarantee that this strategy will not be used again next winter.”
The major intervention reads: “Government has adopted a strategy devoid of any commitment to liberty without any clarification about when our most basic freedoms will be restored and with no guarantee that they will never be taken away again."
It continues: “People are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative Party leadership because they are not standing up for our values as a party."
“If we continue forward with a strategy that hammers freedom, hammers the private sector, hammers small business owners and hammers the poor, inevitably the Prime Minister’s leadership will be on the table.
"We strongly do not want that after all we have been through as a country.”
Mr Baker broke cover after government scientist Jonathan Van Tam told this newspaper yesterday that lockdown measures could be enforce until late spring.
And today controversial scientist Neil Ferguson said we could still be facing restrictions in the autumn.
Mr Baker raged: “Certain Government scientists have said that the current lockdown could last until late spring. There is no reason to think there will be any real resistance in Cabinet to the argument for greater and longer and more draconian restrictions on the public.
“This could be a disaster. Nothing seems more certain to break the public than giving hope before taking it away, and doing it repeatedly.”
And he signs off with a barely concealed warning shot: “I am sorry to be blunt but if we do not act now, events will become inevitable. For the good of the country please contact the Chief Whip.”
Downing Street have been approached for comment.
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