Boris is toast! Tories urged replace PM with Hunt to defend blue wall from Lib Dem siege

Boris Johnson is ‘toast’ says Nigel Farage

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Former Home Office Minister Norman Baker claimed that, were Mr Hunt to win a leadership race and become Prime Minister, he would be “well-positioned” to win back voters from the Liberal Democrats. He said Mr Hunt’s position as a “moderate” and a former Remain voter would help “deal with” any Liberal Democrat resurgence in the southern “blue wall”. Mr Baker also said that the former Health Secretary is “untainted” by the current “Partygate” scandal as he is outside of the Cabinet.

This comes as Boris Johnson is facing increasing calls to resign over the mounting crisis.

The Liberal Democrats have had success in recent by-elections with the party winning North Shropshire from the Tories in December, taking a seat the Conservatives have held since its inception almost 200 years ago.

Lib Dem candidate Helen Morgan overturned a majority of almost 23,000 votes to win the seat.

Before that, the party overturned a 16,000 Conservative majority in the Chesham and Amersham byelection in June, a seat which had been held by the Conservatives for almost 50 years.

But Mr Baker said a Tory Party led by Mr Hunt, the former Health Secretary, would be able to tackle this threat and win back votes for the Conservatives.

Speaking to, he said: “If the Tories had any sense they would support [Hunt] because he is untainted by what has gone on recently.

“He is outside the Cabinet. He has had quite a good run in his current role as chair of the Health Select Committee.

“And from the Tories’ point of view, he is well-positioned to try and see off the Lib Dem challenge in the blue wall.

“Because he is seen as a moderate and a Remainer and would deal with that end of the country.”

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister was accused of having a birthday party in No 10 Downing Street during Lockdown.

ITV News reported that Mr Johnson and around 30 people attended the event in the Cabinet Room and ate picnic food from Marks and Spencer.

There have been numerous other reports of parties across Downing Street and Whitehall during lockdown, including a BYOB party organised by the Prime Minister’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds.

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is currently leading an inquiry into the allegations, the findings of which are due to be published over the coming weeks.

But Mr Baker said the Prime Minister is unlikely to “recover” from the current crisis.

But he hit out at Mr Johnson, for what he called “diversionary tactics” – referring to recent policy announcements made the government regarding a BBC licence fee freeze.

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Calling the Prime Minister’s approach “shameful”, he also criticised him for “lining up officials to sack”.

Last week, it was reported that Mr Johnson is planning to sack a number of senior officials as part of an attempt to save his job, in what has been dubbed “Operation Save Big Dog”.

Mr Baker said: “My view is that he’s toast. And I think after the weekend a whole lot of Tory MPs will be getting an earful from their constituents saying that he’s got to go.

“And I think the poll on Conservative Home suggests that 40 percent of Tory members think he should go too, so you can’t recover very easily from that situation and I don’t think he will.

“And that’s even before the Sue Gray report comes out.

“He’s busy lining up officials to sack and blame everybody else and to have a whole lot of diversionary tactics to do with the BBC and everything else.

“It’s pretty shameful to be honest. He’s shameless and it is shameful.

“I don’t think it will work this time.

“Interestingly when Nadine Dorries stood up to mention the BBC, a whole lot of questions were asked by MPs.

“If he thought it was going to be met with huge welcome it certainly wasn’t by backbenchers.

“I think they’ve had enough of him to be honest.

“They’ve had enough of the lies and the dissembling and the clear self-centredness of the whole thing.”

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