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Sir Graham Brady said the rules of the 1922 committee were likely to stay in place for now, meaning Johnson is safe for a year. (Photo: Dan Kitwood via Getty Images)
Tory rebels plotting to oust Boris Johnson had their hopes dashed today after a senior MP suggested they would not hold another leadership vote anytime soon.
Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, said he will not change the rules to trigger another confidence vote.
His comments suggest the PM is safe from a challenge for at least the next year.
The current rules of the 1922 committee state that a leader cannot face another challenge until 12 months on from the last vote.
Rebel hopes of getting rid of Johnson have hung on rumours that Brady and the rest of the 1922 executive could be prepared to rip up the rulebook to allow another challenge to take place if more MPs submit letters.
Johnson narrowly survived a vote of no confidence on Monday night, when four in 10 Tories opted to oust him as leader.
The vote was triggered after 15 per cent of the parliamentary party submitted a letter of no confidence in Johnson to Brady. The prime minister won the ballot by 211 votes to 148.
Theresa May ended up resigning just months after she won a confidence vote in 2018 after it became clear the party could change the rules to allow another vote to be held.
However, Brady said on Wednesday that while the rules could “technically” be changed in the future, there were currently “no plans” to do so at the moment.
“It’s not something that we as an executive have discussed at all in this parliament,” he told Times Radio.
“There was a point in the previous parliament when those discussions took place at length, we ended up without changing the rule.
“Obviously, I’ve reflected quite a lot on this, because of the amount of speculation has been in the media.
“Of course, it is technically possible that laws can be changed in the future. And it’s possible that rules can be changed in the future. But I think it’s important we say the rule that is in place, and is likely to remain in place is that there is a year’s period of grace following a confidence vote.”
Monday’s vote has left Johnson on shaky ground and has prompted a series of policy announcements from No.10, including plans to allow people to use benefit payments to pay homes.
Johnson will set out the plans in a speech this afternoon.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.