Cut taxes or Brexit fail, says Lord Frost

Earlier on Monday, Mr Johnson gave a speech outlining his pro-business vision to the CBI, but the message was overshadowed by alleged blunders in his delivery. In the speech, he invoked Peppa Pig as proof of the power of the free market and jokingly compared himself to Moses when he advocated a green revolution.

On the social side, Dan Poulter, a former health secretary, and Mark Harper, a former head whip, were among Tory MPs who would protest an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that will make it longer for those who are assisted by the state to meet the £86,000 cap on costs.

Mr Harper said: “It may harm the less fortunate and those of working age with lifelong conditions. I will vote against it.”

Dozens of Tory MPs would like to revolt or abstain from voting. One Tory said there was “a lot of discontent”, while another predicted: “This has legs. It’s starting to pick up steam. It will run – the Lords will do many things.”

Amid a fierce whip operation, some planned to abstain rather than revolt, expecting the Lords to send the legislation back to the House of Commons for reconsideration.

Lord Lansley, a former Conservative health minister, and Baroness Altmann, an ex-Pensions minister, told The Telegraph they would try to change the legislation when it arrived in the Senate.

On Monday evening, Johnson’s allies in government brushed aside criticism of him on the grounds that they were politically motivated. But an adviser to a Cabinet minister told The Telegraph: “There’s just a lot of stress. The Prime Minister is clearly very, very unhappy. No Prime Minister wants to be in a difficult period. It’s not uncommon. I imagine he don’t enjoy it.”

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, put further pressure on Mr Johnson by touting his plans to abolish corporate rates and doubling down on opposition to the government’s increase in National Insurance.

He told the CBI: “The reason we are now opposing the government tax hikes is because the business community told us that ‘while we are coming out of the pandemic and we are trying to get back on our feet, the last thing we do now is need is to be withheld by the tax’.”


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