DEFIANT Boris Johnson has vowed to campaign in two by-elections that could seal his fate.
The Prime Minister has told aides he will break with tradition and visit the Tory seats he desperately needs to keep if he is to avoid a leadership coup.
He made the do-or-die decision as rebel MPs were on the verge of forcing a vote of confidence to remove him from No10.
Conspirators believe they have already secured the 54 letters needed to force a secret vote on his leadership, with one claiming the tally has reached 65.
A June 23 insertion for the Tories in Wakefield and in Tiverton and Honiton – widely predicted by pundits – could spark a backbench revolt.
In a high stakes gamble, Mr Johnson will travel to courses in West Yorks and Devon to prove he still has the magical winning talent.
Traditionally, PMs do not participate in by-elections.
A source said: “The idea that the public wants Boris to be ousted just two years after his election victory is ridiculous.”
Backbench boss Sir Graham Brady will add up the letters tomorrow.
If there are 54 or more, a leadership vote could be held on Wednesday.
But the rebels would then have to muster 180 votes to force a leadership contest.
Tory strategists are primed to lose Wakefield’s Red Wall seat, which was snatched up in 2019.
But they also fear the Lib Dems will wipe out a 24,000 Tory majority in Tiverton.
Allies supported the Prime Minister last night. One said: “While these selfish rebels stir up trouble, Boris is working hard to bring down the cost of living.”
Downing Street ruled out the Prime Minister issuing a ‘back to me or fire me’ challenge.
A source warned, “If you want a competition, you really need to get the numbers.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5491608/boris-johnson-by-elections/ Boris Johnson vows to campaign in two by-elections to avoid backbench coup to remove him from No10