Boris 'plots big summer reshuffle to save his job' after limp 'He-shuffle' saw NO-ONE sacked and top donor demands he quits - but rebel MPs are still waiting for police Partygate probe

 Boris Johnson is pinning his hopes on a major summer reshuffle to save his premiership after failing to sack anyone in a limp 'He-shuffle'.  

The PM tweaked his team yesterday, shifting chief whip Mark Spencer to become Commons Leader, and creating a new Brexit role for Jacob Rees-Mogg.But Mr Johnson balked at adding any more disgruntled ex-ministers to his already mutinous backbenches, with the threat of a confidence vote and the police Partygate probe looming. There was also criticism that he failed to put more women in senior jobs.   

Instead Downing Street has been briefing that he intends to make more fundamental changes later in the year - holding out the prospect of promotion for those who stay loyal.

The manoeuvring came as Mr Johnson faces more pressure with a billionaire Tory donor joining calls for him to quit.

John Armitage told the BBC he finds the lack of honour in modern politics 'incredibly distressing'.

Tory MPs appear to be holding off sending more letters of no confidence in Mr Johnson until the results of the Partygate investigations. There were renewed claims today that Mr Johnson will refuse to resign even if he is fined by police for breaching lockdown.

If the threshold of 54 letters is reached 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady is considered unlikely to trigger a formal vote while the Commons is in half-term recess - which starts tomorrow. 

And Mr Johnson is travelling to Brussels tomorrow for talks with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. 

Boris Johnson
John Armitage

Tory donor John Armitage (right) has called for Boris Johnson (left) to quit, telling the BBC he finds the lack of honour in modern politics 'incredibly distressing'

The PM tweaked his team yesterday, creating a new Brexit role for Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured)

The PM tweaked his team yesterday, creating a new Brexit role for Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured)

Chief whip Mark Spencer was shifted to take Mr Rees-Mogg's old job as Commons Leader

Chief whip Mark Spencer was shifted to take Mr Rees-Mogg's old job as Commons LeaderMr Johnson will face PMQs later as he struggles to cool the row over his Jimmy Savile 'slur' at Keir Starmer last week.

The Labour leader was mobbed by protesters near Parliament on Monday evening who repeated the dubious jibe about him failing to prosecute Savile - although they appeared to be mainly hard-Left anti-vaccination demonstrator and hurled a variety of seemingly random insults.  

Health minister Ed Argar indicated today that Mr Johnson will not apologise for his swipe.

Asked if the PM would say sorry, Mr Argar told Sky News: 'The Prime Minister… has been very clear – he's clarified what he was talking about.

'I know colleagues of mine have been on (and) had this conversation with you in recent days.

'He's clarified that he was talking about Sir Keir in the context of his leadership role at the CPS. Just as, quite rightly, Sir Keir holds him to account for his leadership role over the Government.

'That don't mean personal responsibility for individual decisions, but that's the context, and the Prime Minister has clarified that.

'And I'll be honest with you, I suspect that's what you will hear from the Prime Minister later.'

Mr Johnson circled his wagons yesterday with a mini-reshuffle in which ultra-loyal, mainly male lieutenants gained key roles.

Former Europe minister Chris Heaton-Harris was appointed chief whip to curb rebellions by Tory MPs and head off a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Minister.

After lengthy wrangling and an appeal from Boris Johnson, housing minister Chris Pincher was persuaded to return to his former role as deputy chief whip.

His appointment completed a 'reset' reshuffle in which loyalist ministers were handed new roles and no one was sacked, avoiding adding to the tally of disgruntled former ministers on the backbenches.

The moves are designed to bolster a Tory whipping operation described by one Cabinet minister as 'broken'.

Both men played a key role in the so-called shadow whipping operation established by the PM last month to persuade mutinous Tories not to submit letters of no-confidence.

But one senior minister predicted they would find it difficult to restore order, adding: 'It's like bringing in a new football manager to gee up a struggling team.

'It might help for a bit but it doesn't deal with the fundamental problem, which is that it looks like the party at Westminster is becoming ungovernable.'

Mr Spencer becomes Commons leader, responsible for managing government legislation. His predecessor Mr Rees-Mogg was handed the new post of Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency.

He and Mr Spencer will both still attend Cabinet, despite their involvement in the disastrous decision to try to change Commons sleaze rules to protect former minister Owen Paterson from lobbying charges.

Mr Rees-Mogg had acknowledged his role in the episode, which triggered a fall in Tory fortunes, saying he 'made a mistake'. 

The former head of the European Research Group of Tory MPs remains popular on the Tory Right.

He is also one of the few Cabinet ministers to publicly go out to bat for the PM during the Partygate crisis. His ministerial salary will double from £34,367 to £71,673.

Mr Spencer is also embroiled in an investigation over disputed claims that he told MP Nusrat Ghani she lost her ministerial role because her Muslim faith made people feel uncomfortable.

In another endorsement of loyalists, Paymaster-General Michael Ellis, who has repeatedly defended the PM over Partygate, was handed a seat at Cabinet.

The reshuffle was male-dominated, with some critics dubbing it a 'he-shuffle'. But the PM later gave two female MPs new roles.

Whip Heather Wheeler was made a junior minister in the Cabinet Office, albeit with no extra pay, and transport minister Wendy Morton gained seniority. 

Mr Johnson also doubled his unpaid parliamentary private secretaries – MPs who try to improve relations with Tory backbenchers – from two to four. Most previous prime ministers had just one.

Senior backbencher Sir Bernard Jenkin last night warned that the 'reset' must not just be cosmetic. 

It follows a clearout of senior officials at the weekend as the PM tries to show MPs and the public he is serious about reforming No10 in the wake of Partygate.

He said: 'We are looking for a change in the capability and character of the Government so we can have confidence that nothing as clumsy and mortifying as this Partygate episode can happen again.'

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