Grassroots Conservatives turn on Boris – and here’s the surprising pick for his successor

Jeremy Hunt addresses Boris Johnson's Peppa Pig comments

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According to a new study conducted by ConservativeHome of grassroots party members, Boris Johnson is now firmly in the negative for satisfaction ratings. Issues including the sleaze scandal, the migrant crisis and the developing cost of living crisis were all cited as reasons members have lost faith in the Prime Minister.

ConservativeHome, a blog that supports, but is independent of, the Conservative Party, published its ‘Cabinet league table’ this week.

The results, produced from a survey of party members in November 2021, show Mr Johnson with a -17.2 rating.

Surprisingly, the minister with the greatest support from party members is Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, on +82.3.

Brexit minister Lord David Frost is also popular, as is Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are all well about the PM on popularity, and even the embattled Home Secretary Priti Patel is just in the positive, on +0.2.

The only minister to score lower than the PM is Mark Spencer, the Chief Whip, on -21.1.

Writing on the results, the ConservativeHome bloggers Paul Goodman and Henry Hill said: “No wonder Boris Johnson is in negative ratings.

“Big government, small boats, Paterson: he has clearly been marked down for all three, and his chaotic recent speech to the CBI probably hasn’t helped.”

Indeed, members of Mr Johnson’s own party said they were losing faith in the PM after a disastrous performance at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference, where he lost his place in his speech for about 20 seconds and diverted into a lengthy tangent about Peppa Pig.

This news comes as fears of a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister grow in Westminster.

On Monday, the Scottish National Party (SNP) announced it would table a motion of censure over the leadership of Mr Johnson in the House of Commons.

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said Mr Johnson should be held to account for his “disastrous actions”.

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The Conservative administration has a working majority of 77 seats in the House of Commons, meaning it is unlikely Mr Blackford’s motion will pass.

However, more than a dozen MPs are said to have written no-confidence letters to the chair of the Tory backbench committee asking for him to be replaced.

One senior MP told The Sun newspaper: “There is real anger.

“He has until Spring to get back on track or he will be in real trouble.”

Under Conservative Party rules, a leadership contest is triggered if 15 percent of sitting Conservative MPs write a letter to the chair of the 1922 committee demanding one – a figure which currently equates to 54 letters.

Tory whips told the Telegraph there was an “assumption” that no-confidence letters had been written, while another suggested “the usual suspects” were calling for the PM to go.

The whip said: “It will not get anywhere near the 50 letters you would need, but it does cause angst.”

And Mr Blackford of the SNP said: “Unless he faces consequences for his disastrous actions, he won’t just think he’s gotten away with the mess he has made of the last few months – he will think he can do it all over again.”

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