A SENIOR Tory and former defence minister has said that he will be submitting a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson.

Tobias Ellwood has become the eleventh Conservative MP to publicly call on the Prime Minister to step down.

Peter Aldous, who represents Suffolk for the Tories, said on Tuesday that "after a great deal of soul-searching" he had decided Johnson “should resign".

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has also publicly fallen out with his London bosses after "regretfully" saying it was time for the Prime Minister to go.

A total of 54 Conservative MPs would need to submit letters of no confidence to the backbench 1922 Committee to trigger a vote. It is not known how many have done so to date, but many are rumoured to have sent their letters in private.

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Tom Tugendhat MP, the chair of the foreign affairs committee, has thrown his hat into the ring to challenge Johnson in such a vote. If Johnson wins, he will be immune from another challenge in the same way for 12 months.

Speaking to Sky News, Ellwood said the Prime Minister should call a vote of confidence in himself, rather than holding out to see if his backbenchers trigger one.

The senior Tory said: “It’s time for the Prime Minister to take a grip of this. He himself should call a vote of confidence rather than waiting for the inevitable 54 letters to eventually be submitted.

“It’s time to resolve this so the party can get back to governing. And yes … I will be submitting my letter today to the 1922 Committee.”

The former defence minister also focused on the crisis gripping Ukraine, saying Johnson's domestic troubles were getting in the way of the UK's ability to respond.

Ellwood said that after Sue Gray only published an “update” and not her full report into partygate, and the Met’s investigation could be months away, the country was stuck “in a holding pen waiting for another announcement”.

“It’s just horrible for all MPs to have to defend this to the British public,” he added.

“The Government’s acknowledged the need for fundamental change. The culture, make-up, discipline, the tone of No 10. The strategy has been one, it seems, of survival, of rushed policy announcements like the navy taking over the migrant channel crossings.

“And attacking this week Keir Starmer with Jimmy Savile. Who advised the Prime Minister to say this? We’re better than this. We must seek to improve our standards.”

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Johnson has been widely condemned for “parroting the far-right” with his false claim that Starmer was responsible for Savile going unprosecuted during his lifetime.

However, ministers within the government, including Nadine Dorries, Dominic Raab, Alister Jack, and Chris Philp, have refused to distance themselves from the remarks.

Confronted about the Savile comment in a car-crash interview, Dorries insisted, despite the clear evidence to the contrary, that the “Prime Minister tells the truth”.