West Midlands Tory MPs privately frustrated with Government over partygate

Among the steady stream of Conservative MPs calling for Boris Johnson to step down, those from the West Midlands are notable by their absence.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Some of our MPs have not held back in their unwavering support of the PM, insisting that partygate is a storm in a tea cup and that Mr Johnson remains the right man to lead the country.

But the lack of public criticism in these parts does not mean there is not discontent behind the scenes.

Privately, a number of MPs are not happy at the way the Government is running at the moment on several fronts.

The handling of the Sue Gray report has left some of them having to push an argument to disgruntled constituents that they don't wholeheartedly believe in.

There is also frustration about the impact that the whole partygate debacle has had on the Tory policy agenda. MPs want to be talking about the public order bill and efforts to tackle immigration.

They want to show their constituents the Government is serious about tackling the cost of living crisis, but it is all getting lost in the noise.

Many among the 2019 intake are fully aware that without Mr Johnson, they would not have won their seats in the first place.

With one eye on their party's plummeting fortunes in the polls, they will now be weighing up whether the "failure of leadership" outlined in Ms Gray's report will cost them at the next general election.

For the time being – and with the next national poll not due until 2024 – many of our MPs remain convinced there is no better option.

The chosen one, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, is currently out of the frame after he received a partygate fine, while the likes of Liz Truss and Jeremy Hunt are not considered election winners.

And as one MP said privately, with Mr Johnson strongly favoured to survive any leadership challenge it seems sensible to "keep your powder dry".

It is interesting to note that among some senior Tories, Mr Sunak is still considered likely lead the party at some point.

He just may have to wait until after the next general election.

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