Boris Johnson’s U-turns on sleaze and the second job row are causing “dissatisfaction” among conservative MPs, a deputy chairman of the powerful 1922 committee of backbenchers has said.
After two weeks of damaging headlines, which have led to a Tory step in the polls, the Prime Minister yesterday tried to get ahead by writing to the President to propose a partial ban on other jobs and “reasonable limits” to external work to ensure , that members of parliament focus on everyday life.
His intervention came when Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, drew up a five-point plan to “clean up politics”, with a ban on other jobs being put to the vote today.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the trade secretary, said Mr Johnson “took the lead” in terms of sleaze and other jobs.
But the move has sparked consternation among some Tory backers, further straining the relationship at number 10.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Vice-President in 1922, told BBC Radio 4s Today program: “There are [frustration]. “Clearly the whole issue of standards and the proposal put forward in front of the House and then a whole reversal and now this … there is dissatisfaction in the back seat and that is why the Prime Minister has to make it very clear to Members of Parliament what he expects of us.”
But Jake Berry, a former minister, seemed to shrug his shoulders at the impact the proposals would have, saying: “The Prime Minister’s proposal … is that we must vote in Parliament today to uphold the existing rules. ”