Dominic Raab was grilled by BBC Breakfast’s Jon Kay who wanted to know the Tory frontbencher’s verdict of Boris Johnson’s “Peppa Pig” speech to the CBI. While Mr Raab defended the Prime Minister and said good points were made, Mr Kay argued he and his colleagues would not let up if it was a speech by a political opponent like Nicola Sturgeon or Sir Keir Starmer. The Deputy Prime Minister then delivered a deadpan putdown of the allegation, stating he ignores Sir Keir every week as he has nothing good to offer.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Raab was asked for his views on Boris Johnson’s leadership following rumours some Tory MPs have filed letters of no confidence in him.
Mr Raab denied the rumours and said some Westminster commentators were looking to blow stories out of proportion through anonymous sources.
The former Foreign Secretary then defended the Government and said there were huge policies being moved through the Commons, including the recently announced Harper’s Law, which showed the legitimacy of the Conservative Party.
But host Jon Kay was not convinced and believed it could be the beginning of the end for the Tories and said: “As well as the smiles about Peppa Pig, there are serious concerns at the highest level within Downing Street, about whether the Prime Minister has a grip on it.
“This wasn’t just one speech, was it? That speech highlighted what, for many, is a much bigger issue about the way he does this job.”
Mr Raab replied: “Right, I don’t agree and it’s the job of Westminster commentators to pick up on one anonymous source from wherever they found it to criticise the Government the day, that’s fine.
“In relation to Peppa Pig, it is a fantastic British export around the world and I think that was the point the Prime Minister was making…”
Mr Kay then put to Mr Raab that he and his fellow MPs would not let their opponents off so lightly if they made gaffes like Boris Johnson and said Sir Keir Starmer would not hear the end of it.
Mr Raab bluntly replied: “I ignore Keir Starmer every day of the week because they don’t have anything serious to say about credible alternatives to the agenda, economic transport, criminal justice that we’ve set out.
“And I’m happy to do so now.”
According to The Sun, around a dozen Tory MPs have sent in letters of no confidence in Boris Johnson and fear a potential leadership challenge could occur.
Conservative MPs can trigger a leadership challenge by writing to the chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, calling for one.
However, 15 percent of MPs are required to trigger a new vote which is around 54.
It comes as Mr Johnson has come under intense scrutiny for his speech at the CBI annual conference where he lost his place in his notes and began making references to his trip to Peppa Pig World.
In the weeks leading up to the disastrous show, Mr Johnson scaled back his Northern rail investment by stopping certain developments from going ahead.
The Conservatives also voted through controversial social care reforms which saw a late amendment that removed council contributions to the £86,000 care cap.
It means those receiving local financial support, who are already on lower incomes, will not see those benefits contribute to the cap meaning they lose out.
Allegations of sleaze have also engulfed the Conservatives after Mr Johnson attempted to overturn the decision to suspend Owen Paterson over lobbying breaches.
MPs second jobs have also seen some rebellion among Tory ranks after the Government put forward their own watered-down proposals to crackdown on outside work in response to Labour’s opposition day motion.
MORE TO FOLLOW…