Reports suggest Boris Johnson could be forced to resign after Sue Gray’s review of Covid rule breaches in government was published.
In an interim report published in January, the Cabinet Office official said there had been “failures of leadership and judgment” in No 10 over the so-called partygate saga.
The Times, quoting an official it described as familiar with the contents of the full report, said Ms Gray’s full findings were even more personally critical of the Prime Minister and could end his term.
According to the newspaper, the official said: “Sue’s report is infuriating. This will make things incredibly difficult for the Prime Minister.
“There’s immense pressure on her – her report could be enough to kill him.”
Number 10 declined to comment.
It comes amid separate reports in the i newspaper that Tory rebels are preparing to oust Mr Johnson if he does poorly in local elections next month or if he is handed further fines.
Scotland Yard has already fined Mr Johnson, along with his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, for attending his 56th birthday party held in June 2020 when Covid rules banned indoor gatherings.
Downing Street is reportedly preparing for Mr Johnson to receive a second fixed fine notice (FPN) after police allegedly began issuing fines for a ‘bring your own bottle’ drink in Garden No 10 on May 20, 2020 .
He is said to have attended half of the 12 rallies questioned by the police.
Cabinet ministers on Sunday offered a defense of the Prime Minister, Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden, suggesting it was “all speculation” to predict Mr Johnson could be hit with more FPNs.
He and Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg have backed Mr Johnson to lead the Tories in the next general election, which is currently due no later than January 2025.
Mr Dowden told Sky News there were ‘very strong arguments for the Prime Minister to remain in office’ despite mounting pressure from his own benches for him to step down.
Senior backbench MPs, including former cabinet minister Steve Baker, have put their heads above the parapet in recent weeks to demand Mr Johnson leave Downing Street after dealing with alleged rule breaches.
According to the i, the Prime Minister’s critics have started to work in a coordinated fashion and are “holding back” to wait for local election results or other FPNs to arrive in Mr Johnson’s inbox.
The newspaper cites further reports that some rebels prepared letters of no confidence to be submitted en masse to the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers should the party suffer a blow at the polls on May 5.
Mr Dowden admitted that the municipal elections would be “difficult”.