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PMQs verdict today: Boris Johnson comes out swinging as Westminster awaits Sue Gray report

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Boris Johnson came out swinging in today’s PMQs, determined to show his own Conservative MPs that he is ready to fight for his future.

But with everyone at Westminster still waiting for the findings of Sue Gray’s Partygate inquiry it felt like the Government and MPs are – for now - stuck in a holding pattern.

The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tried to pin the Prime Minister down over parties, asking him if he felt the ministerial code applied to him and if it did then if he had broken it would he resign.

He tried to impress upon him how serious it is that the police were now investigating.

But again and again Johnson tried to shift the focus away from parties to other big issues like the tensions with Russia over Ukraine and to the Government’s track record.

Johnson’s “lawyer not leader” jibe at Starmer will have left some scratching their heads given so many leaders have been lawyers – think Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela. But his bullish performance will have given weary Conservative MPs a lift.

The vast majority of Tory MPs who hold Johnson’s future in their hands - the reasonable rump as they are known - have still not made up their minds what to do. They are waiting for the outcome of the Gray inquiry and maybe even the Met, which could take weeks if not months and therefore buy Johnson more time.

And the longer this goes on the more they are thinking about the serious consequences of pushing for a change at the top. As one Tory MP said to me this morning you can push the captain overboard but it doesn’t mean you are not still in choppy waters.

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