Brexiteer Tory MPs are hatching a plan to topple Boris Johnson if he does not resign in the spring before local elections.
Opponents of Johnson, including Iain Duncan Smith, John Redwood and Esther McVey, have created a Whatsapp group entitled “Lockdown Loons” and are plotting against the government, the Mirror reports.
At least one is said to be ready to submit a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, with more prepared to submit their own in an attempt to reach the total required of 55.
One senior Tory MP told the newspaper: “He keeps making mistakes and doesn’t learn from them.
“We knew he’d have to U-turn on A-levels and free school meals over the summer.
“Now he forces us to vote to starve children over Christmas. You can be sure he’ll U-turn on that, too. I’ve never seen such ineptitude.”
But the rebels are hoping that Johnson will resign before then, after he complained about the salary he is paid to lead the country.
The prime minister is keen to leave Brexit as his legacy, but one MP noted that it won’t be “properly sorted until March at the earliest”.
Local elections are expected to be held alongside the London mayoral elections in May.