James Forsyth

It’s getting worse for Boris

It's getting worse for Boris
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Talking to Tory MPs this morning, it is clear that the mood today is even worse than yesterday. Even one of those MPs closest to Boris Johnson thinks that it is now 50/50 whether enough letters go in to force a no confidence vote.

Ironically, the improving Covid numbers are changing the calculus for some Tory MPs about a contest. A few weeks ago, even the most ardent Boris critics didn’t think you could have a no confidence vote, given the situation with the soaring Omicron variant. But now it is somewhat in retreat, and that restrictions are likely to go on 26 January giving hostile MPs the chance to do so.

PMQs today is, obviously, an important moment. Lots of Tory MPs are holding off on replying to angry constituents until after it. They will be looking to see if gives them anything close to an explanation that they can offer to their voters. The growing expectation this morning is that Johnson will go for a big apology. Whether that is enough to change the mood among the public or his own MPs could be seen later today.