A VOTE of no confidence in Boris Johnson is “close” and could be held early next week, a Tory MP has said.

The number of Tory MPs who have sent letters to 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady is currently unknown, but it has been claimed the threshold of 54 is in sight.

Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, said that a “frenzy of activity” from the whips office indicates the number has almost been met.

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It comes after allegations of “blackmail” and “intimidation” from government whips in a bid to get MPs to withdraw their letters which could trigger a vote.

The Prime Minister has been engulfed in scandals from partygate and claims of a “bring your own booze” garden gathering in Number 10 during lockdown to the Owen Paterson row but has so far refused to resign.

And now, one Tory has claimed that Johnson could see a vote of no confidence against him as PM as early as Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

The National:

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Bridgen (pictured above) said: “I think we're close. There's a frenzy of activity from the government whip's office which indicates we're fairly close.

“Bear in mind, that's when Sir Graham Brady gets to that threshold, first of all, he'll go until number 10 of the Prime Minister out of courtesy then I think it's 12 hours later he'll go public.

"So I think whatever announcement he makes will probably be sort of nine o'clock the following morning.

“I think we will probably get to the threshold this week, which means we will be having a confidence vote next week, probably Tuesday or Wednesday.

“Hopefully the Sue Gray report will be out by then. But the Prime Minister's detractors, Dominic Cummings, for instance. I think once we get to that threshold of a confidence motion, he's going to unload whatever he's got left in his arsenal to damage the Prime Minister.”

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Asked what the implications are if the Prime Minister “clings on”, Bridgen added: “Well, I think the more worrying polls, the poll I saw this morning, which said that more than half of the people who voted conservative in 2019, and people will claim that that was for Boris Johnson in part, now want the Prime Minister to stand down?

“That's absolutely damning for the conservatives. I honestly think that if this rumbles on any much longer, Boris Johnson instead of being a political asset, he's actually an existential threat to the future of the Conservative Party.”

It comes as civil servant Gray has allegedly discovered the email warning Johnson’s private secretary that the “bring your own booze” party on May 20 last year should not go ahead.

ITV reported that Gray now has her hands on correspondence between a senior official and the PM’s principal private secretary where they were warned not to go ahead with the event as it broke Covid-10 rules.