Tory civil war: Boris Johnson leaves backbenchers furious – ‘Winter will be horrendous’

HS2: Boris Johnson defends scrapping of Leeds link

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MPs are concerned at the current lack of leadership within the party. After the Tory sleaze allegations following a botched attempt to change the disciplinary process on standards, many fear the Prime Minister is losing control.

On Wednesday Mr Johnson privately conceded to colleagues at a meeting of backbenchers that he had “crashed the car” after he attempted to help a former cabinet minister who broke rules on lobbying the Government.

The row lasted for a fortnight and seriously hurt the Tories in the polls, with Labour retaking the lead in several.

House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has apologised, taking responsibility for “pushing” the Prime Minister to back changes to the system.

Backbenchers now want a clear-out of the Cabinet, who they believe are badly letting down Mr Johnson.

One leading Tory MP told the Financial Times: “You need cabinet ministers who are up to the job.

“Are they serious or are they nodding dogs?”

Another fears the situation will only get worse. They said: “The winter is going to be horrendous.

“There will be an NHS crisis and a cost of living crisis.”

One minister added that Mr Johnson “thieves on chaos” but that trying to firefight so many political crises at once had damaged the leader.

Some Tories have even spoken out publicly about their dissatisfaction with the current situation.

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After the Prime Minister unveiled his Integrated Rail Plan yesterday, one senior Tory attacked the Government for failing to keep its promises.

Huw Merriman, chair of the Commons transport committee, said: “This is the danger of selling perpetual sunlight and then leaving it to others to explain the arrival of moonlight.”

Under the plans the eastern leg of HS2 will be scrapped while the planned Northern Powerhouse Rail will be curtailed.

The Prime Minister insisted the Integrated Rail Plan would double capacity between Manchester and Leeds and treble that between Manchester and Liverpool.

While popular with some Red Wall Tories, others believe it is a U-turn on pledges made at the last election and could badly impact their hopes of re-winning seats in the north of England.

It comes after the Conservatives have already broken a series of other manifesto pledges.

The Tories have hiked up national insurance to help fund Mr Johnson’s social care plan and have suspended the state pension triple lock.

One fed-up Conservative told “I’m beginning to wonder if we’re even Conservatives anymore.”

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