BORIS Johnson has insisted questions over his leadership have been “settled” – despite the triple threat of defectors, disgruntled backbenchers and rebel Cabinet ministers.

The Prime Minister sparked anger among his party after stating his intention to remain in office until the “mid-2030s”.

Coming on the back of the partygate scandal and two humiliating by-election defeats, reports suggest half a dozen Tory MPs are considering switching to Labour, forcing some Conservatives to deny they are about to defect.

Cabinet ministers are also said to be considering moves against the Conservative leader. A reshuffle has been put off until autumn over fears it could lead to sacked ministers becoming “really vigorous agitators” on the backbenchers, one Cabinet member told The Times.

Johnson’s comments also reportedly prompted a fresh wave of MPs to submit letters calling for another confidence vote in his leadership.

The Prime Minister, attending the G7 summit in Germany, brushed off reports that Tory MPs were continuing to plot against him.

The National: Boris Johnson speaks with world leaders in Germany Boris Johnson speaks with world leaders in Germany

Asked if he was concerned about events at home, he insisted the matter had been dealt with in the confidence vote earlier this month which he won, despite 40% of his MPs voting to get rid of him.

“We settled that a couple of weeks ago,” he told reporters. “What I’m focused on, and what we’re doing is getting on with, number one, all the stuff we’re doing to help people with the cost of living in the short term.”

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Although under current rules Johnson is supposed to be safe from a leadership challenge for another year, there is speculation that they could be re-written if there is sufficient pressure from Conservative MPs for him to go.

That proposal is not being backed by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, who voted against the PM last time round. Yet he did warn the issue of Johnson’s leadership is not “done and dusted”.

Labour have claimed that at least six Conservative MPs are considering defecting, fuelling speculation as to their identity.

Dehenna Davison took matters into her own hands, tweeting: “For the avoidance of doubt - again - I’m not bloody defecting.

“To those anonymous colleagues spreading such rumours, my door is always open for a chat.”

Former minister Caroline Nokes added: “Me neither - just to pop that on the record.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice defended his boss’s earlier remarks about remaining in post for another decade, saying he had been making the point there was a “lot he wants to do”.

“I sometimes feel in these situations that prime ministers can’t win,” Eustice told Times Radio.

“They either say that they want to carry on and they’ve got a lot to do and they want to keep going. And that’s what obviously Margaret Thatcher said and what Boris Johnson is perceived to have said.

“Or like Tony Blair, they say they’re not going to go on and on and people spend years arguing about the date of their departure. So they can’t really win in these situations.”

Despite the resignation of Tory Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden in the wake of the by-election losses in Wakefield and in Tiverton and Honiton, Eustice insisted the rest of the Cabinet continued to back their leader.

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“We have the support of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister has our support, we work together and we stick together through difficult times,” he told Sky News.

He said that the two by-election defeats were “very disappointing”, but stressed that Boris Johnson’s senior ministers would continue to work together to back him.

“We’ve got an important agenda that we’re working on, and that’s what we’re all focused on.”

But the expressions of discontent have kept on coming, with Damian Green, who chairs the One Nation caucus of Tory MPs, warning the Government “needs to alter both its style and content” and calling on Cabinet members with leadership hopes to show their stripes.

William Wragg, the Tory chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said he has concerns for the security of his seat – and for those of colleagues “with majorities much larger than mine” – which would likely be assuaged by Johnson’s departure.

In the by-election in the Devon constituency of Tiverton and Honiton, a dramatic swing of almost 30% from the Conservatives saw their 24,000 majority overturned by the Liberal Democrats.

In West Yorkshire, Labour seized back Wakefield with a majority of 4925 on a swing of 12.7% from the Tories.