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Duncan Smith warns PM against trying to cling to power if police find wrongdoing

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Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the i newspaper the PM would find it “very tough” to hold onto his post if the force fine him.

The ex-Tory leader added: “I think it would be very tough for anyone to remain after that. If you’ve set the laws, and you break them and the police decide you have broken them… and then there’s the unredacted (Sue Gray) report – the two things will come together.”

The Tory MP’s comments were echoed by the Tory chair of the Commons Justice Committee, Sir Bob Neill.

He told Times Radio: “The regulations do create an offence for which you get a fixed penalty notice, (but) I think it will be very difficult for anyone to be in the position of the country’s principal lawmaker, and then break a law which they themselves had brought into force, and in particular, very much preached to other people to stick to. You can’t have double standards.”

Sir Iain Duncan Smith is the latest senior Tory to weigh in on the circumstances facing the Prime Minister (PA) / PA Media

Sir Iain and Sir Bob’s remarks come after reports emerged earlier this week that Mr Johnson’s allies supposedly said he would refuse to stand down if the police inquiry finds he broke the law.

Elsewhere, other Conservatives were less sympathetic. On Thursday former Tory prime minister Sir John Major launched a furious attack on Mr Johnson, accusing him of breaking lockdown laws and using “brazen excuses”.

In a speech delivered at the Institute of Government Sir John appeared to suggest Tory MPs should withdraw support for the PM, adding: “At No 10, the Prime Minister and officials broke lockdown laws. Brazen excuses were dreamed up.

“Day after day the public was asked to believe the unbelievable. Ministers were sent out to defend the indefensible – making themselves look gullible or foolish.

“Collectively, this has made the Government look distinctly shifty, which has consequences that go far beyond political unpopularity.”

Former prime minister Sir John Major during his keynote speech at the Institute for Government this week (Dominic Lipinski/PA) / PA Wire

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