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'Never underestimate him!' Boris Johnson backed to survive partygate by Lord Marland

The Tory peer, an informal adviser to Mr Johnson for more than a decade, said: "He's quite used to being in these scrapes, and so some of it is sel

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The Tory peer, an informal adviser to Mr Johnson for more than a decade, said: “He’s quite used to being in these scrapes, and so some of it is self-inflicted. But he’s very good at getting out of them.”

Lord Marland said the Prime Minister could turn things around if he concentrated on delivering voters’ priorities — such as “levelling up” the country and tackling the cost of living crisis — for the next 18 months.

He added: “I just hope he’s got the power and the will to do it. Otherwise, I think the country will be in quite a lot of trouble.

“If he can deliver on that then, of course, he’ll be re-elected because the country will say: ‘Thank you very much. You’ve done a great job.'”

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The key, according to the 65-year-old billionaire businessman, is not to waste time on the “fluffy stuff” and instead focus on what Britons truly care about.

He said: “He has got to show that we are a more competitive economy than America and the European Union, which means getting a real onslaught on regulation and a low tax regime.

“He’s got to develop the Brexit dividend, which to date he hasn’t, and he’s going to cut out all this fluffy stuff like animal welfare sentience Bills and all these things, which actually may have interest but it just takes up a huge amount of parliamentary time when we’ve really got to get on with the big crisis in social care, energy.”

Speaking of a possible vote of no confidence against Mr Johnson, Lord Marland said: “I think MPs should be careful what they wish for.”

When challenged over whether Mr Johnson would expect to win, she said: “That is getting into a hypothetical.

“Our focus is very clear in terms of delivering the ambitious agenda that we were elected on in 2019.

“We want to continue to work together as Conservatives to deliver this.”

Mr Johnson was elected with an 80-seat majority just over two years ago.

Now, his fate is uncertain, with a lot depending on the content included in the report of civil servant Sue Gray, the woman in charge of getting to the bottom of the alleged gatherings.

Ms Gray’s conclusions will not be ready until next week as the constant emergence of new evidence has repeatedly delayed and slowed down her work.

Lord Marland, who was part of a team of friends and allies who advised Mr Johnson during his time as London Mayor and more recently in Parliament, suggested Mr Johnson could well win over the Tory party again.

He claimed: “You must never underestimate him. He’s got great powers of recovery.”



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