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Boris Johnson says ‘I will continue my work’

The Conservative leader tried to come out strong this afternoon with a speech full of ideas to fight the cost of living and meet the priorities of voters. After 41% of Tory MPs gave him a vote of no confidence on Monday, the beleaguered PM told Britons he was ‘on your side’, promising to build a high-growth, low-tax economy where everyone could buy his own house.

However, the rhetoric was light on specifics, with concerns that the income tax cuts could materialize before 2024.

The Tories have warned that the Prime Minister must start cutting taxes much faster if he wants to remain Prime Minister.

A senior party source told Express.co.uk that failure to act could spell the end of his Premiership.

The senior insider has claimed there is ‘only one thing’ saving Boris Johnson’s Premiership.

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Boris Johnson’s speech appears to be unraveling tonight (Picture: PA)

With the prime minister’s impeachment threat still a real threat, the insider claimed that cutting taxes was the clearest path to safety.

The source said: “We are the only major economy trying to tax our way to prosperity. The majority of major economies are inventive, dynamic and agile. We are raising taxes at all levels, at a time when households are feeling hurry him.”

Added to this, the insider says, is that ‘the majority’ of backbench MPs are asking for tax relief, which would give the Prime Minister ‘a huge boost among those deciding his fate’. .

With skyrocketing energy bills, frozen wages and increased National Insurance contributions, the tall Tory claimed an easy victory would be to roll back the VAT.

“Although the goal is to cut taxes, in all areas, the first and simplest victory is the VAT. The VAT affects people on low incomes, and a deduction would bring tangible benefits to the high street and to consumer confidence.”

The insider claimed that if the Prime Minister does not address the issue, it will turn into a “brutal” summer.

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Mr Johnson said voters expect public spending to be cut

Mr Johnson said voters expect public spending to be cut (Picture: PA)

The speech was intended to be a reset of his premiership

The speech was intended to be a reset of his premiership (Picture: PA)

“If the Prime Minister tries to deflect this issue or blame factors beyond his control, I fear the game is over. Families, MPs and businesses are demanding this, the Prime Minister must deliver on his promises, otherwise. “

In a high-profile speech in Blackpool, the Tory leader pledged to tackle the soaring cost of living and tackle long-standing issues such as housing.

Hard-working Britons are currently facing the highest tax burden in 70 years, and polls show 81% of voters are concerned about the ability to afford a house.

“The overall tax burden is now very high. And sooner or later – and I would rather it be sooner than later – that burden has to be reduced,” Mr Johnson said in his speech without committing to a date.

“Over the next few weeks, this government will introduce reforms to help people cut costs in all areas of household spending, from food and energy to childcare, transport and accommodation.

Boris Johnson has also confirmed plans to extend the right to buy to tenants of housing association homes.

He said there are 2.5 million households whose homes are owned by associations, saying “they’re trapped, they can’t buy, they don’t have security of ownership, they can’t consider their house like theirs or make the improvements they want”.

“It’s time for a change. Over the next few months we will be working with the industry to deliver a new right to buy system,” he said.

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Mr Johnson added it would give ‘millions’ more the opportunity to own their own home and see ‘one-for-one replacement of every social housing unit sold’ while being affordable within existing spending plans.

In a further effort to appease his backbenchers, he also pledged to cut government spending.

He warned that the size of the civil service had become bloated in recent years and that it was time to reduce.

He said: “It is unconscionable that the size of central government has increased by 23% by 2015. There are 91,000 more civil servants than there were.

“I believe we have the best civil service in the world, but given the current pressure on families, we need to find efficiencies, get Whitehall back to the size it was just five or six years ago .”

His comments come despite strong opposition to the plans from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

The Foreign Secretary frustrated Mr Johnson by consulting the ERG

The Foreign Secretary frustrated Mr Johnson by consulting the ERG (Picture: PA)

She also rejected calls for a cut from the civil service

She also rejected calls for a cut from the civil service (Picture: PA)

She said the war in Ukraine, as well as relations with the EU, meant a bigger department was needed.

The Foreign Office currently employs around 7,000 people, making it one of the smallest in Whitehall.

The dissent has raised eyebrows in Westminster, with a Tory MP suggesting to Express.co.uk that she appears to be openly revolting in a bid to position herself in the leadership.

“You have to create a vacancy first,” they joked about his efforts.

Mr Johnson is also said to have ‘snapped’ at Ms Truss at a meeting of ministers yesterday, complaining that the MP for South West Norfolk brought in backbench MPs to get their views on legislation to cancel parts of the Northern Ireland protocol.

The government will introduce a bill in parliament next week to unilaterally take action against Brussels’ brutal implementation of Brexit customs controls.

The ERG has been one of Mr Johnson’s most vocal critics for failing to act sooner.

Prime Minister narrowly survived Monday's vote of confidence

Prime Minister narrowly survived Monday’s vote of confidence (Picture: PA)

Members of the group were responsible for Theresa May’s time dropping to No 10 after she repeatedly refused to back her EU deal.

A supporter of the Remain in the 2016 election, the Foreign Secretary still lacks the confidence of some party members on Brexit and is struggling to win the support of diehard Eurosceptics.

Publicly, Ms Truss continues to express her support for Mr Johnson.

She said earlier this week it was “time to move on” from internal party fighting after the prime minister survived a vote of confidence.

She tweeted: “Glad that colleagues have supported the Prime Minister. I support it 100%.

“It’s time to get to work.”


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Edward L. Robinett