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BORIS JOHNSON is under increasing pressure within the Tory Party following a back-bench revolt over his social care plans and a chaotic speech to business leaders.
The Prime Minister barely survived a rebellion over his social care reforms on Monday night, with 19 Tories opposing the plans and dozens more not voting after the cap on costs was revealed to be less generous than expected.
Hours earlier, a reporter had asked Mr Johnson how he was after the PM’s address to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) saw him lose his place in his notes, compare himself to Moses and Lenin, talk about Peppa Pig and impersonate a car.
It followed a bruising few weeks in which Mr Johnson’s judgement has been questioned over his handling of the row on parliamentary standards and criticism of scaled-back plans for rail upgrades in northern England.
A senior Downing Street source admitted to the BBC that there is “a lot of concern inside the building about the PM. It’s just not working.
“Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes, otherwise it’ll keep getting worse. If they don’t insist, he just won’t do anything about it,” the source said.
The government won the social care vote by 26, a major cut to the PM’s working majority of about 80 MPs, as 19 Tories, including former cabinet minister Esther McVey, rebelled while a further 68 either abstained or could not attend.
The scale of the revolt could encourage peers to seek to amend the legislation when it reaches the Lords.
After the vote, Labour’s shadow minister for social care Liz Kendall said: “Tory MPs broke the promise they were elected on that nobody would have to sell their home to pay for care.
“Instead they voted to tax ordinary working people while the wealthiest in our country are unaffected.”
The National Pensioners Convention’s Dr Jean Hardiman-Smith told the Morning Star that ministers “seem intent on targeting the most vulnerable and oldest to pay for social care.”
This is despite them already being “hit hard by rising fuel costs and rocketing inflation, plus the suspension of the state pension triple lock and the axing of the free TV licence for over-75s,” she said.
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