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CLAIMS that MPs are being blackmailed into supporting the PM are “very serious” and must be fully investigated, a Cabinet minister said today.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said it would be “completely unacceptable” if whips are using intimidation and threats to withdraw funding.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said claims of blackmail should be investigated


Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said claims of blackmail should be investigated

But he insisted that he hasn’t seen any evidence of such behaviour and said he finds it “very unlikely these allegations are true”.

His remarks came as rebel Tory backbenchers threatened to release bombshell recordings and text messages from the PM’s supporters.

The accusations of blackmail were made by senior MP William Wragg, chair of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee.

He said a “number of MPs have faced intimidation” in recent days because they’re suspected of supporting a no confidence vote in the PM.

Tactics used include threatening to leak embarrassing personal stories to the press if backbenchers don’t toe the party line, he added.

Christian Wakeford, who defected from the Tories to Labour on Wednesday, said the whips once threatened to slash school funding in his constituency.

Boris Johnson yesterday insisted he had seen “no evidence to support” to claims that MPs are being blackmailed.

Asked about the allegations today, Mr Kwarteng said: “I’ve never heard of the kind of allegations being made.

“But obviously we’re going to take the allegation seriously, we need to get to the bottom of the matter.

“The specific allegation about whips withholding funds, I think that’s completely unacceptable.

“I think any form of blackmail and intimidation of that kind simply has no place in British politics.”

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Mr Kwarteng said that “if it’s happened it shouldn’t have happened” but that “I find it very unlikely these allegations are true”.

The claims of blackmail are the latest blow to the PM at the end of a torrid week of Partygate revelations and a PMQs mauling.

The PM has been battered by the worst seven days of his political career and is now clinging onto his job.

Newbie Tory MPs – dubbed the pork pie plotters – launched a bid to oust him, while Conservative big beast David Davis twisted the knife by telling the PM in front of a packed House of Commons “In the name of God, no.”

‘Worst week’

He now faces a nervous wait to see the results of the Sue Gray report into partygate, expected next week.

Many of his own MPs are waiting for the verdict from the Whitehall enforcer before deciding whether to strike and trigger a confidence vote.

After a torrid few weeks, Bojo tried to turn on the charm by inviting rebels to meet with him in his Commons office on Wednesday.

The Sun understands he got MPs in to have a cosy about what they wanted to achieve in Parliament.

He told one MP that he “doesn’t think he did anything wrong” and can see a way back to regain control of his warring party “that involves Sue Gray backing up what I’ve said”, it was claimed.

Tory MP and lockdown rebel Steve Baker yesterday said it looks like “checkmate” against Boris.

Tory MP Will Wragg accuses No10 of ‘blackmailing’ MPs trying to oust Boris Johnson as PM

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