BORIS Johnson is clinging onto power in the wake of reports of rule-breaking parties on Downing Street.

The Prime Minister was told by former minister and senior Tory MP David Davis to “in the name of God, go” in the Commons on Wednesday, soon after Bury South MP Christian Wakeford – who was elected in 2019 with just a 402 majority – staged a dramatic defection to Labour minutes before Prime Minister’s Questions began.

Johnson went into the Commons with his premiership on life support, as a group of Tories who won their seats in the 2019 election landslide appeared to have lost faith in their boss.

But the anger levelled at the PM was not contained to just one wing of the Conservative Party, and Johnson’s press secretary said he would have further meetings with MPs on Wednesday as he attempted to shore up support on his backbenches.

Referring to Wakeford, the press secretary said: “I think we’re obviously sorry to see a colleague – who was elected by constituents, who voted for a Boris Johnson-led government – leave and attempt to put Keir Starmer into No 10, which will be a disaster for the country.”

POLL: Who will replace Boris Johnson as Conservative leader?

Seven Tory MPs have now publicly called for Johnson to go, far short of the 54 required to submit letters of no-confidence to the backbench 1922 Committee.

The number would have been eight following Davis’s comments but Wakeford’s defection to Labour means the tally is unchanged.

Andrew Bridgen, one of the seven, told the PA news agency he expected 20 more letters to go in to 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady from 2019-intake MPs on Wednesday.

Many Tory MPs are beginning to fear for their own seats at the next General Election, and say the UK local elections in May will be the decisive moment.

A former minister told The Guardian: “Boris isn’t willing to bring in new people, he isn’t willing to re-engage with the parliamentary party, he isn’t willing to do the hard graft, he isn’t willing to do the detail.

“Everybody is saying: ‘Let’s go through the process of giving him the opportunity to change’, but we all know where this is going and it is not pleasant. We are heading towards a leadership challenge. The next yardstick is the local elections.”

In spring, the UK Government is expected to come under pressure from a combination of tax increases and rising prices that will eat further into living standards.

At the Budget in October the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said a 1.5 percentage point increase in national insurance contributions would take effect in April 2022, costing someone earning £20,000 an extra £120 a year.

The National:

The rise in national insurance will go to fund the health service and social care, but councils must wait until 2023 before any of the extra income is diverted from health budgets to social care funding.

In April, the energy regulator Ofgem is expected to allow a significant rise in the gas price cap that protects millions of households from volatile wholesale prices. Several high-profile gas suppliers have gone bust in recent months after they were unable to stem losses from supplying households with energy at below market prices.

If a no-confidence vote is triggered by then, a secret ballot will be held of Tory MPs. Theresa May’s was held within hours.

If a no-confidence vote succeeds, the Prime Minister must resign and a full leadership contest is held.

But 50% of MPs need to vote “no confidence” for the motion to pass. May’s critics were undone by this in 2018, when they triggered a no-confidence vote – but she then won it.

When a Tory leader wins a no-confidence vote by their party, they cannot be challenged again for a year.

WATCH: Boris Johnson refuses to say Douglas Ross is NOT a 'lightweight'

If the 54 letters threshold is reached, precedent suggests the no-confidence vote would take place very quickly. May hit the threshold just before 8am and the vote was held that evening.

But others have suggested that most Tory MPs won't act until Sue Gray's report back on the No 10 parties, which is not expected until the tail end of this week, or next week.

When do you think Boris Johnson will go?