POLL: The next Prime Minister needs to have clean hands if Boris quits

Boris Johnson 'not worthy as Prime Minister' says Harper

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If Mr Johnson were to leave Number 10 he would be replaced by another Tory MP but none of the cabinet appears to have won over the public. An exclusive poll for Express online has revealed that the most popular option is “a Conservative MP who is not a minister”. The option scored 18 percent potentially opening the door to a challenge by well known backbenchers like former Brexit minister Steve Baker, ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis or Express columnist and former cabinet minister Esther McVey.

Among Conservative MPs there is also some support for Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee which represents Tory backbenchers.

But the leading cabinet minister is a surprise choice of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace who scores 16 percent and has impressed many people during the Ukraine war.

He is narrowly ahead of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on 13 percent, who has just scored another success with a trade and security deal with Indonesia.

The polling of 1,500 people was conducted by Techne UK for Express online.

Dr Spencer Pitfield of Techne UK said: “Our polling suggests that the most popular alternative is a backbencher with clean hands.

“This maybe because there is not a single cabinet minister who is outstanding in the public eye or because they want someone who was definitely not involved with partygate or the difficult covid decisions.

“However, it is clear Ben Wallace is emerging as a favourite from the cabinet particularly among Conservative voters.

“This may be because of his firm stance and reassuring presence in dealing with the war in Ukraine.”

A contrite Mr Johnson apologised to the Commons today and the nation for being fined for breaking covid rules when he celebrated his birthday in the Cabinet room.

But he vowed to stay on as Prime Minister as Opposition MPs demanded his resignation.

This is despite the possibility that he may face more fines as the Metropolitan Police completes its investigations.

The Techne UK poll also revealed that support for Rishi Sunak has dropped significantly after he was fined for breaching lockdown rules and questions about his wife’s tax affairs emerged.

He was on 4 percent along with Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab.

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