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Boris Johnson faces fiery PMQs clash with Keir Starmer and Tory MPs TODAY

BORIS Johnson faces a fiery showdown with Keir Starmer and his own backbench MPs today as he bids to cling on until the end of the month.

The PM will get his feet in the Commons chamber at 12pm with Tory criticism over his Jimmy Savile remarks ringing in his ears.

EPA
Boris Johnson will face a fiery PMQs showdown today[/caption]
A worried Starmer being protected by police
Sir Keir Starmer was surrounded by a mob on Monday

He is also likely to face volleys about spiralling NHS waiting lists, the cost of living crisis, and the ongoing Partygate scandal.

It will be his last major appearance before Parliament goes into recess for a 10 day break on Thursday.

Allies believe if he gets through it without further controversy then he should be safe from a confidence vote until March.

But the PM is far from out of the woods with many Tory MPs furious over a series of missteps by the Government.

The row over his incorrect jibe at Sir Keir, who he claimed failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile, is still at boiling point.

Boris has angered many within his own party by repeatedly refusing to apologise for the slur.

On Monday the Labour leader was surrounded by a mob outside Westminster who chanted Savile’s name at him.

Today senior backbencher Mark Harper raised the “grim” prospect of the Tories deploying such tactics in a future election campaign.

He said: “This is not the kind of country we want to be.

“The prospect of adopting this approach poses yet more serious questions for my Conservative MP colleagues and I to consider in the weeks and months ahead.”

Mr Harper became the 10th Tory MP to publicly criticise the PM over his remarks as he comes under growing pressure to say sorry.

But health minister Ed Argar suggested Boris is unlikely to show any remorse when he steps up to the despatch box this afternoon.

He said: “The Prime Minister has been very clear – he’s clarified what he was talking about.

“I’ll be honest with you, I suspect that’s what you will hear from the Prime Minister later.”

There is also still simmering anger within the rank and file over the way Boris dealt with the No 10 parties scandal.

REBEL PAUSE

So far 11 backbenchers have publicly announced they’ve submitted letters of no confidence in his leadership.

But the true number is expected to be much higher, with allies of the PM putting it at between 35 and 45.

Rebels have seemingly decided to hold their fire on a coordinated push to topple him until after police investigation into Partygate.

One Tory MP told the i: “The trend is clear – it’s just a matter of the timetable.”

Boris is equally under fire from many on his own side over crippling tax rises at a time when Brits are facing a cost of living crisis.

Many backbenchers want him to scrap the planned National Insurance rise in April that will hammer families for £180 a year on average.

But yesterday the unrepentant PM looked to steady the ship by promoting many close allies in a mini-reshuffle.

He has told allies opponents will need a tank division to prize him out of No 10 as he bunkers down to fight for his political life.



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