TORY MPs have been warned they “won’t be forgiven” if they fail to remove Boris Johnson amid reports rebels are backing away from a plot to oust the Prime Minister.

The Conservative leader appeared to be on the ropes on Wednesday as he faced demands to resign from his own benches in Parliament.

The anger was triggered by days of fresh revelations about parties on Downing Street while Covid restrictions were in place.

But the defection of Bury South MP Christian Wakeford to Labour appears to have at least slowed down the backbench plot, with some MPs withdrawing letters of no confidence to the 1922 Committee. A total of 54 are required to trigger a leadership challenge.

There have also been allegations that whips are attempting to "blackmail" MPs into backing the Prime Minister.

READ MORE: MPs urged to contact police over 'blackmail' attempts to keep PM in office

The Telegraph reported that between three and seven letters of no confidence were withdrawn by Conservative MPs following PMQs on Wednesday afternoon.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford tweeted: “If Tory MPs have bottled it, they won't be forgiven.

“This isn't about party politics, it's about doing the only decent thing. Where is their integrity?

“Are they seriously going to defend a Prime Minister who lies, breaks the law and is unfit for office?”

The National: SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford pointing at Prime Minister Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London on Wednesday December 8, 2021.

WATCH: Boris Johnson laughs at Ian Blackford's question and refuses to resign

According to reports, seeing Wakeford take his seat on the Labour benches prompted a rethink from some Tory rebels. A “Johnson-skeptic” Tory Politico: “It focused minds. It’s one thing to demand Boris does a better job, and another to be helping the opposition.” Another added: “Sometimes it takes a traitor to unify the party.”

Conservative minister Conor Burns told the BBC that MPs were now willing to wait for the publication of Sue Gray’s report into rule-breaking parties on Downing Street before making a decision.

Northern Ireland minister Burns told BBC Newsnight: "What's happened over the last 24 hours is that colleagues have started to look at what's going on and started asking themselves the question, 'What are we doing, and where is this going?'

"And I think there is a real sense of stepping back and realising that the right thing to do is to wait for Sue Gray's report to then question the prime minister, as he's quite properly said he will come to the House of Commons and make a statement and answer for it."

READ MORE: Scottish Labour members' fury as 'Tory through-and-through' defector welcomed

The findings of the civil servant’s report are expected to be released next week.

No 10 has insisted the Prime Minister is willing to contest any leadership challenge.

Tory MP Richard Holden told the BBC that the mood within the party is now "much calmer" and "things are settling down". But he warned: "I think things will definitely come to a head with the Sue Gray report. That's going to be a very important moment."

It comes after Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross claimed that a no-confidence vote was “closer than it is further away”.

The National: Douglas Ross

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

The Scottish Tory leader said it was clear the number of MPs unhappy with Johnson’s premiership is higher than those who have spoken out publicly due to the number of letters sent to chairman of the committee Sir Graham Brady.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Drive Time, he acknowledged there was a “significant” operation under way by Tory whips to get MPs to withdraw their letters of no confidence.

The Times reported that plotters were “some way off” reaching the 54-letter threshold. The chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, is said to have told a colleague that “unless he’s unable to get back into his office because of number of letters piled up against door there won’t be a vote anytime soon”.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he believes Johnson’s position is secure.

Asked on BBC Breakfast if the Prime Minister was “safe in his job”, Javid said: “Yes, I think he is.

“At the same time, people are right to be angered and pained about what they have seen and they have heard. I share that anger and pain.

“I think it is right that there is a proper investigation going on that will establish the facts and that the Prime Minister will come back to Parliament and properly respond.”