‘No more lefty nonsense!’ Boris told ‘total reset’ needed at Number 10

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It comes as the Sunday Express has learnt that Boris Johnson is already arranging meetings with new people to bring into his team and has made personal calls to reach out to “fresh faces with fresh ideas.” The “total reset” of his operations is being resisted by the Prime Minister’s inner circle, most notably friends of his wife Carrie, according to sources.

But the changes are coming as the Government braces itself for the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s reports into the Downing Street party allegations which will land on Mr Johnson’s desk “in the next few days.”

It is believed that after discussions with the Metropolitan Police, who are conducting a criminal investigation into the allegations, the report will be written in a way where it can be published in full. After the police investigations and any subsequent legal action is completed there is a possibility that Ms Gray will then issue a second report.

Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat has announced he would run for the leadership if the Prime Minister is forced out with bookmaker Coral saying that he is odds on to leave.

But Cabinet members have rallied around the Prime Minister with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng writing in today’s Sunday Express about how he is still getting the big decisions right. “The Prime Minister resisted kneejerk calls to impose restrictions over Christmas, we now have the most open society and economy in Europe,” he said.

In another piece Transport secretary Grant Shapps added: There is a secret about Boris Johnson that all the rakings over his life in print and on screen have failed to reveal: as Prime Minister the man is a workaholic. That blond-topped brain does not allow itself more than the occasional break.

Meanwhile campaigning yesterday in his Romford constituency, veteran Tory backbencher Andrew Rosindell said: “Most people are just bored with the whole party-gate story. The people I met in the streets want the Prime Minister to stay.

“The only ones who are still angry are the ones who want Boris and the Conservatives out anyway. In truth, the Remainers are behind this because they hope that with Boris gone they can soften Brexit.” But allies have been blunt in the advice given to the Prime Minister after he requested help from outside his current inner circle.

However, one potential change of bringing in high flying civil servant Antonia Romeo as the new Cabinet Secretary from her position as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice has caused controversy because she is seen as “vehemently anti-Brexit” although she is believed to be close to the Prime minister.

The reset, according to one long-term ally of the PM, must encompass “the entire No10 operation, and it has to go beyond words and window dressing.” Special focus, he said, must be given to disgruntled backbenchers, with a raft of policies that remind them, “that they have a winner in No 10, who can govern as a conservative.” Doing away with “lefty’ policies”, and removing those who suggest them, would provide backbenchers with hope, they added.

“Boris receives advice from a number of young men alongside his young wife, which puts him at odds with the party members and backbenchers alike. Tax rises, an obsession with net carbon neutral policies that will crucify red wall voters, along with green taxes, and animal sentience laws, are not what we should be focused on.

“The near obsession with passing Trans Right’s legislation, championed by advisors imported into No10 by the PM’s wife, is seen by many Tory MPs as symptomatic of where his advisors have taken the direction of travel.”

The ally added: “There are serious issues facing us, and the inability to grasp this, by advisors who have never had to deal with the realities of life in business or beyond the M25 points to a poor operation at the heart of government.

“Unconservative policies such as raising Corporation Tax from 18 to 25 percent is mind boggling to Conservative MPs who hold Boris’s future in their hands and the traditional Party base of entrepreneurs and small business-people.”

There is also concern that Rishi Sunak has been distancing himself from the Prime Minister and is behind the tax rises which have led to calls for him to be removed. The insider added: “The Chancellor has clearly been captured by the Treasury on tax rises and the planned National Insurance Rise. Boris has to face him down on this, and face down his wife and her young friends on their pet projects.

“For Boris to now survive he has to make a choice. He cannot be advised by his wife and her friends who are fixated on what appeals to their metropolitan sensibilities. A strategic vision is so clearly missing from N10, Boris needs to wipe the slate clean, get people in who can keep him on the path he promised voters at the General Election, and give him the chance to do what he proved time and again he could do as Mayor of London.

“What worked for Boris as Mayor, was his team. The Party backed him to become its leader with a two thirds majority in the clear expectation that he had strong people lined up like Eddie Lister and David Frost and a circle of other grown up, experienced, good advisors helping where required. He must return to this formula, or face being in power without having any power.”

Asked if he believes the PM will undertake a drastic relaunch, the insider said: “He has to. Backbenchers are telling him it, long term allies are doing the same, and party members are fed up with an un-conservative agenda.

“Brexit, which is why we have such a strong majority, offers us boundless opportunities – the PM will be judged on whether he took them or not.’ Quite simply, if he wishes to remain in power, ditch the dead wood. It’s time for grown-ups to come in and save the PM.”

Brexiteer Conservatives have mobilised to protect Boris Johnson, fearful that he could be replaced by someone who will not stand up to the European Union. One MP said: “If they get rid of Boris now I’m afraid the wheels would start to come off Brexit.”

They were unsure that the frontrunners to succeed Mr Johnson would withstand pressure from Brussels. A former minister urged colleagues to keep the PM in his job, saying: “We’ve got to save Boris.”

Despite the challenges facing the Prime Minister, they were upbeat about him staying in No 10, saying: “It’s very hard to get rid of a Prime Minister who doesn’t want to go, and this Prime Minister certainly doesn’t want to go.” Conservative MPs have been called in to meet with the Prime Minister as he seeks to shore up support.

An MP on the right of the party could see a clear “road to recovery” for Mr Johnson and the party if he adopts core Conservative policies. He has been urged to take a tougher line on immigration; the failure to stop illegal Channel crossings has been a source of deep frustration for those on this wing of the party.

“I think Boris can get through this,” they said. Other MPs are worried that the continuing furore is causing long term damage to the Conservative Party. A high-profile member of the 2019 intake said: “The Government’s now starting to damage the party.”

A veteran backbencher warned against expecting Mr Johnson to change his ways if he is allowed to stay in Downing St. “This won’t chasten, Boris,” they said. “If he gets through this it will embolden him.”

The MP feared that it could take a decade for the reputation of the Conservatives to recover, saying: “He only cares about himself.” They expected that Mr Johnson would be kicked out later in the year so his successor can be in place in time for the autumn conference.

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