North West Leicestershire Conservative MP Andrew Briggan publicly announced on Thursday night that he had submitted a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.
He is the fifth MP to say he has written to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, calling for a vote on the prime minister’s future as party leader.
As many as 30 letters have been submitted so far, The Telegraph reported. A total of 54 are required to trigger a poll.
The Prime Minister has seen a rare glimmer of hope in an investigation into what senior official Sue Gray alleged to have breached the lockdown, with no evidence of a crime expected to be found.
However, The Times reported that the investigation could accuse Johnson of lacking judgment.
Gray is expected to avoid drawing conclusions about whether the prime minister has breached ministerial codes as it would be outside her remit, the paper said. But it said she was prepared to criticise Downing Street’s culture.
Gray is looking at a series of parties and gatherings at Number 10 and Whitehall in 2020 while coronavirus restrictions are in effect.
The Telegraph reported last night that witnesses said they were drunk and the guests danced to the music. The two events on the same day are said to have started separately and later merged.
At the time, government guidelines stated: “You must not socialize indoors except with family members or support bubbles. You can gather outdoors, including in the garden, in groups of six or two.”
A Downing Street spokesman said of the Slack event: “On this man’s last day, he gave a farewell speech thanking every team for the work they did to support him, including those who had to work in the office and People who work on screens. Those who work from home.”
The spokesman had no further comment on the allegations of a farewell party for the prime minister’s personal photographer.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister apologised for attending a “bring your own drink” party at Downing Street Gardens during the first coronavirus lockdown in May 2020, but insisted he believed it was a work event that could “technically” be in the rules.
Government members urged his critics to wait for Gray’s findings before making a judgement after Conservative MPs began publicly calling for his resignation.
Cabinet ministers defended Johnson after he apologized on Wednesday, but the late intervention of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, both considered potential successors, did not strengthen people confidence in his future.
The Metropolitan Police said any of their investigations would depend on the evidence found in Gray’s investigation.