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Operation Revenge: Theresa May ready to trigger Boris no confidence vote on Thursday

Theresa May issues warning over ‘stop and start’ policy

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Mr Johnsons is under intense pressure after Downing Street has been accused of holding a Christmas party at No10 last December. It has been claimed the party occurred while London was under strict Tier 3 lockdown rules that prevented indoor social gatherings of any size. However, the Government has denied the Christmas party occurred.

Following the allegations, allies of former Prime Minister Theresa May said they would submit letters of no confidence in Boris Johnson if the Conservative Party lose the North Shropshire by-election to the Liberal Democrats on Thursday.

One former minister who served under Mrs May has announced they would oppose the government on Tuesday.

This move has been dubbed “Operation Revenge” by Mr Johnson’s allies.

Speaking to the Mail of Sunday, a senior figure from Mrs May’s Government said: “It’s time to send the letters.”

This refers to the process by which Conservative MPs trigger a leadership election.

The senior minister also forecasted much more backbench discontent if the Tories lose the by-election to the Liberal Democrats.

Those Tories who are opposing the Government will need to gather at least 54 letters for a vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership to be triggered.

This represents 15 percent of Conservative MPs.

There is no evidence that Mrs May is co-ordinating this opposition to the Government.

However, she has publicly opposed Mr Johnson from the backbenches on a range of issues.

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It has been reported in The Times that friends of Mrs May state she is still angry at the way she was forced out by Brexiteers.

The former minister who spoke to the Mail of Sunday about Mr Johnson’s Government added: “Something has to change.

“I’ll vote against the government this week in the hope that he listens.

“But if we lose on Thursday, letters will go in.”

The revelations come as ITV News revealed a leaked video filmed last December of No 10 officials joking and laughing about a Christmas party that was held “last Friday”.

In the leaked video Ed Oldfield, a No 10 adviser, is heard asking: “I’ve just seen reports on Twitter that there was a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night, do you recognise those reports?”

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To this, then-press secretary Allegra Stratton said: “I went home.”

Ms Stratton laughs as she makes her reply.

Mr Oldfield then asked: “Would the Prime Minister condone having a Christmas party?”

Ms Stratton laughed again and responded: “What’s the answer?”

Another staff member in the room then said: “It wasn’t a party, it was cheese and wine.”

Then Ms Stratton said: “Is cheese and wine alright?”

“It was a business meeting.

“Is this recorded?

“This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.”

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