Boris Johnson’s ‘assassins’ exposed as former PM told he would be ‘taken down’

Boris Johnson‘s downfall was masterminded by a cabal which has been in control of the Conservative Party for 20 years, an ally of the former Prime Minister has claimed.

Ex-Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries claims Michael Gove, Dominic Cummings and adviser Dougie Smith are part of the “movement” which conspired against Mr Johnson.

In her new book, The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson, Ms Dorries claims the secret clique toppled Iain Duncan Smith as party leader, caused havoc for Theresa May and undermined Liz Truss.

Ms Dorries, in extracts from her book published by the Daily Mail, alleged Mr Gove “binds all the dark-arts people together”.

A source told Ms Dorries: “It was plainly obvious that Friday morning, the day after the election victory in December 2019, they [the movement] were furious.”

The source claimed the feeling was Mr Johnson had “won too big” and the confidence that gave him would “make it more difficult to control him”.

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Ms Dorries wrote in 2019 the “movement” needed Boris to save them from “all the harm” they were responsible for. They had lined up Rishi Sunak to be PM but he “just wasn’t ready”.

She claimed once Mr Johnson was in Downing Street and had given the Government a big majority, “it was time to get him out”.

Mr Johnson is quoted in the work detailing an “unexpected and fairly unpleasant” phone call in 2021 from Mr Smith.

The former prime minister said he remembered Mr Smith telling him he should go, adding: “‘You are poison, like Nixon. If you don’t go, I’m going to take you down. I’ll finish you off'”.

One tactic Ms Dorries claimed the “movement” employed to get rid of Mr Johnson was to plant negative stories in the press about his wife, Carrie Johnson, to put a strain on their relationship.

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The bombshell claims come after Ms Dorries was told the Government considers her in breach of ministerial rules by failing to provide it with a pre-publication transcript of the new book.

Ms Dorries accused the Cabinet Office of trying to block its November 9 release after she refused to share a copy with the department, according to the Daily Mail.

Under the Radcliffe rules, ministers have to relinquish all Government material when ceasing to hold a role.

Former ministers intending to publish memoirs are also required to “submit the draft manuscript in good time before publication to the Cabinet Secretary.”

But Ms Dorries said her book is “not a memoir in any remote sense of the word and has zero to do with policy or official secrets”.

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Ms Dorries quit as an MP earlier this year after she was denied a peerage in Mr Johnson’s resignation honours.

Her book had been scheduled for release on September 28 – shortly before the start of the Conservative Party conference – but publisher HarperCollins later announced the date would be pushed back.

It said the delay had been necessary to “allow for the huge volume of material the author has consulted, the number of high-level sources spoken to, and the required legal process needed to share her story”.

The book is being serialised ahead of its expected release on November 9, with the first instalment on Friday devoted to allegations about a “shadowy Tory” figure who has been left anonymous.

It includes references to “alleged arson”, “dirty dossiers” and a rumour about the unnamed individual having the pet rabbit of an ex-girlfriend’s younger brother “chopped into four and nailed to the front door of the family home to greet him when he got home from school, in true Mafia style”.

Ms Dorries was mocked by Mr Cummings over the claims he secretly worked to topple Mr Johnson as soon as he became PM, in part by planting false and negative stories about him.

Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser-turned-critic shared a screenshot on X which appeared to show his response to a journalist asking him for a response to the allegations.

He said: “She’s right, there was a giant conspiracy including MI6, the CIA and, most crucially, the KGB special operations department. It’s a tribute to Nadine she has figured this out.”

Mr Cummings, who fell out with Mr Johnson after helping him secure an 80-seat majority in the 2019 election, has previously said he discussed ousting the former prime minister just “days” after the landslide victory.

He has denied regularly briefing the media once inside No 10, claiming he “hardly spoke to journalists at all” in evidence to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

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