A senior Conservative MP has told Yahoo News UK that Buckingham Palace intends to block an early general election if Boris Johnson calls one as a last ditch attempt to save his premiership.
Johnson is hanging on by a thread after Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid turned on him and announced their resignations on Tuesday evening.
Their decision came in the aftermath of Number 10's false claims that Johnson had not been aware that Chris Pincher - who resigned on Thursday after reportedly sexually assaulting two people in club - had a history of sexual misconduct before the PM gave him a ministerial job.
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There has since been speculation that Johnson could call a snap general election in a bid for a fresh mandate, and to avoid being ousted by his own MPs in another no confidence vote this year.
However Andrew Bridgen, senior Tory MP and leading Brexiteer, said Buckingham Palace are preparing to stop Johnson from attempting such a move.
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"I've been told that the Palace are prepared to block an early snap election if Johnson attempts to call one to save his own skin," said the MP for North West Leicestershire.
"And the Palace has the right to do that under the Lascelles Principles."
At present, the prime minister has to ask the monarch's permission to call a general election, as she is the head of state.
The Lascelles Principles mean the Queen is able to reject the request and order the government to find "another prime minister who could govern for a reasonable period with a working majority in the House of Commons".
Buckingham Palace has been approached for comment.
Elsewhere, Bridgen said the Conservative Party's 1922 committee will change the rules imminently to allow another no confidence vote in Johnson within weeks.
"The 1922 committee elections end next week, then the rules will be changed straight away to allow another no confidence vote - which he will lose and be removed," said Bridgen.
Bridgen still said a general election is still likely this year.
"Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab will then become PM [if Johnson goes]... then we'll probably have an early election, in September, before [parliamentary] recess and conference season," said Bridgen.
The warnings come as eyes turn to prime minister's questions and the liaison committee on Wednesday where Johnson will face a grilling over everything from the cost-of-living crisis to ministerial standards.
He is also set to face the parliamentary standards and privileges committee in October, which will decide whether he knowingly misled parliament over Partygate.
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