Boris Johnson is 'innocent until proven guilty' says Rees-Mogg
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Tory MPs have warned that the rise must be delayed as a condition of their support for his premiership, reports suggest. Mr Johnson’s Conservative colleagues, who are considering submitting letters of no confidence to the 1922 Committee, have indicated that national insurance should not increase when people are struggling with the cost of living.
A government source told the Times that abandoning the national insurance hike was being considered by Mr Johnson for his own political survival.
They said: “He’s wobbling, I think he would do anything to survive.”
Abandoning the increase could be popular with the Tory right, who Mr Johnson may need to win over to see off a leadership challenge.
However, it could also cause a row with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is said to believe that it would be “fiscally irresponsible” to change course.
Mr Sunak is reported to believe the alternative would be more borrowing.
Despite being the face of the furlough scheme, Mr Sunak is seen increasingly as a Thatcherite.
Whereas Mr Johnson is considered by Conservative standards to favour higher spending.
Another government source told the Times that any u-turn would be performed to appease the right of the party.
They said: “It looks like [Johnson] is back-sliding because of the pressure he’s under on partygate.
“It has never been popular among the right of the party and it’s that group Boris is most worried about.
“The Treasury view is that Johnson should hold his nerve.”
Yesterday, Mr Johnson refused to confirm that the 1.25 percentage increase would go ahead in April.
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This was the seventh time the Prime Minister refused to confirm the tax rise in four days.
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