Allies of Boris Johnson are reportedly threatening to trigger by-elections in protest to his latest referral to the police.
Nadine Dorries, Nigel Adams and Alok Sharma are among the sitting MPs that could step back from the Commons ahead of the next election.
With the Tories trailing Labour in the polls, it could mean a triple-whammy of misery for Rishi Sunak, who has a job on his hands reviving the party’s fortunes.
The former PM was reported to the police by the Cabinet Office after fresh claims that he may have broken lockdown rules during the pandemic came to light.
Information has been passed to two forces over alleged visits from the former prime minister’s friends to Chequers as well as potential breaches within Downing Street.
The Metropolitan Police said it was “currently assessing” details it had received relating to incidents between June 2020 and May 2021.
Speaking to The Telegraph, a Johnson ally said: “If it transpires that the Government has tried to report Boris to the police for entirely lawful activity just for political purposes then I’d expect three by-elections to take place.”
Citing ‘politically motivated stitch-up’ allegations, they added: “People are now fed up with the witch hunt against Right-wingers and Brexiteers – unless the leadership acts to stop it and shows support for Boris, Suella and Raab there will be action against the leadership.”
Dorries, Adams and Sharma are all expected to take up peerages granted in Johnson’s resignation list.
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