RUTH Davidson has said MPs in her party are looking for a “more sober” Prime Minister than Boris Johnson - and speculated as to who that may be.

Davidson - the Baroness of Lundin Links - was speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World at One when she said that who could replace Johnson was being “openly talked about at all levels within the party”.

The former leader of the Scottish Conservatives has made no secret of her disdain for Johnson - although she was accused of “falling meekly into line” after he was elected to be her UK party’s leader.

Johnson’s position is on shaky ground after the Tories lost an ultra-safe seat to the LibDems in North Shropshire, with senior MP Roger Gale sending a letter of no confidence to the backbench 1922 committee.

However, Davidson said she doesn’t think Johnson’s time is yet up.

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She told the BBC: “The Prime Minister is drinking in the last chance saloon. But [Tory MPs] are looking for him, after Christmas, to come back with a programme for government, to sharpen up the operation at Number 10, to stop having all of these own goals and burning political capital.

"Not just on [North Shropshire]. Also on Dominic Cummings and Barnard Castle. Also on MPs’ second jobs. Also the party is looking for a bit of bloody grip to be exerted.

“And if they see that they might hold off. But I think the Prime Minister has been put on warning by his MPs.”

Davidson said MPs had told her they were growing “tired of the constant drama coming out of No 10 [and] getting it in the neck every time they go back to their constituencies”.

She went on: “So I think what they’re looking for is a more sober prime minister that’s going to get on with the job and have less of the drama around what he does and will cut out the self-inflicted mistakes.

“One of things that really hurt the Conservatives hard was that appalling performance at the CBI, not treating business across the country seriously when people have been sweating blood just to keep their head above water, and to help with the economic recovery, and he turns up and talks about Peppa Pig.

“That’s a completely self-inflicted wound that didn’t need to happen.”

Asked about who could take on the role after Johnson was ousted, the Baroness said there was “no natural successor”.

She went on: “I think what’s interesting is that events that have happened over the last month, month and a half, have allowed this to now be openly talked about at all levels within the party.

“But if you’re saying, is there talent in the party, then absolutely. I would say there’s talent in the current cabinet.

“I would say Rishi Sunak’s doing very well, I’d say Sajid Javid’s doing very well.

The National: Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture date: Wednesday October 6, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story TORY Main. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

“I would say, having recently been promoted from vaccines minister [to Education Secretary], Nadhim Zahawi (above) has done brilliantly and deserves the promotion into cabinet.

“I think in terms of people who aren’t even in government that are talented, you look at Jeremy Hunt, you look at Tom Tugendhat, if you look at people who are junior ministers who could be promoted you look at people like Kemi Badenoch.

“There’s plenty there to work with if you want a strong cabinet around the Prime Minister, but you’ve got to have a prime minister that has got a programme for government and has got the grip and has got the staff to be able to execute it and has got the plan for it.”