The National:

NEWS that backbench Tory MPs are on manoeuvres to oust Boris Johnson has sparked Cabinet ministers into action.

The Prime Minister’s loyal lieutenants, with the notable exception of lukewarm Rishi Sunak, have sent out an emergency signal on their favoured mode of communication – briefings to lobby journalists.

Conservative MPs, who have stood by and applauded as their leader dragged the UK through a disastrous Brexit process, mismanaged the pandemic response and cut benefits to those who needed them most, have finally found something that is not to their taste.

They aren’t best pleased about the handling of the partygate scandal, and have been angered further by Johnson’s insistence that nobody had told him a party at Downing Street would break rules he himself had set.

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Many of those in the 2019 intake, a considerable number of whom have slim majorities, are submitting their letters to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, Sir Graham Brady.

Reports suggest the threshold of 54 letters will soon be met, triggering a no-confidence vote.

It’s undoubtedly a bold move from the group of younger Tory MPs, with one more experienced Tory MP telling Politico: “It’s hardly the men in gray suits, they’re not out of short trousers.”

Cabinet ministers, however, have been slightly less considered in their response.

Ever the comedians, they have branded the rebellion the “pork pie plot” due to the involvement of MP Alicia Kearns (below), whose Melton Mowbray constituency is known for its meat pies.

The National:

One Cabinet minister told the Times: “It’s pretty sickening. They were only elected because of him. Most of them are a load of f***ing nobodies. It’s nuts.”

Not-so-cultured secretary Nadine Dorries put things in perspective, merely accusing the rebels of treason: “The people who are doing this are being disloyal to the Prime Minister, the party, their constituents and the wider country.”

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It was quickly pointed out that she took a rather different view when Theresa May was on the ropes.

One loyal Tory MP told Politico: “The MPs involved in the pork pie plot really are ungrateful rookies. Half of them wouldn’t have won their seats without Boris and seem only to want to do Cummings’ bidding.

“How do they not see a leadership contest right now would just be handing the keys of Downing Street to Starmer? None of the serious leadership contenders even want to take the reins right now so what are these guys playing at?”

Backbench Tory MP Chris Green did not take kindly to being called a “nobody”.

He tweeted: “Everyone of them is a Member of Parliament who was elected by their constituents to represent them. We do not elect presidents but MPs who chose, from amongst their number, the Prime Minister.

“Some need to learn a lesson.”

One rebel issued a similarly ominous message, telling the Telegraph it was Johnson’s “D-day” and “his time has gone.” The MP also suggested, somewhat confusingly, that the Government is so out of the loop that whips are unaware of their plot.

Fortunately, Tory MPs will have the chance to talk all of their difference through amicably later on Wednesday when Johnson takes to the despatch box for PMQs.