Two Conservative MPs have denied they are about to defect to Labour, as Boris Johnson said questions about his leadership had been “settled”.
Dehenna Davison, the MP for the red wall seat of Bishop Auckland, tweeted on Monday morning: “For the avoidance of doubt - again - I’m not bloody defecting.
“To those anonymous colleagues spreading such rumours, my door is always open for a chat.”
Caroline Nokes, the former minister and current chair of the women and equalities committee, added: “Me neither - just to pop that on the record.”
According to The Sunday Times, Labour Party insiders believe “at least half a dozen” Tories are thinking about defecting following last week’s double by-election defeat.
Both Nokes and Davison have said they voted against the prime minister in the recent no confidence vote.
Davison, who was elected in 2019, is seen as a rising start in the party and said it was “not a decision I took lightly”.
Nokes has been more publicly critical of Johnson, accusing him of “damaging” the party as a result of the partygate scandal.
Speaking in Germany on Monday, Johnson said questions over his leadership had been “settled”.
The prime minister is meeting counterparts at the G7 summit in Germany on the latest leg of a series of international gatherings which have kept him out of the UK.
It comes following suggestions of a move to change the rules of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs in order to allow another vote of confidence in Johnson within the next year.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Johnson has been hit by a fresh wave of no-confidence letters after revealing his aspiration to lead the country for not two, but three terms.
The PM said over the weekend during a trip to Rwanda that he is “thinking actively” about fighting the next two general elections to become the longest-serving post-war leader.