About a dozen Tory MPs have made similar allegations in the last few days to a colleague who claims the party's whips have engaged in blackmail, the chair of the Commons standards committee has said.

chris bryant's comments came after william wragg, the senior tory mp who first raised concerns about attempted "blackmail" by downing street, revealed he was to meet police about his allegations.

The people who should be dealing with such allegations are the police.

Mr Bryant, who is a Labour MP, said he had spoken to "about a dozen" Conservatives in recent days who had either been threatened by Government whips with having funding cut from their constituencies or promised funding if they voted “ the right way ”.

"I have even heard MPs alleging that the Prime Minister himself has been doing this," Mr Bryant told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"What I have said to all of those people is that I think that is misconduct in public office.

"It is illegal.

"We are meant to operate as MPs without fear or favour.

the allocation of taxpayer funding to constituencies should be according to need, not according to the need to keep the prime minister in his job."

He described the government's levelling up fund as "an open opportunity for government ministers to corruptly hand out money to some MPs and not to others".

Downing Street has said it will not launch its own inquiry into Wragg's claims, despite calls for it to do so.

a no 10 spokesman said it would only open an inquiry if it was presented with evidence to support the allegations.

The former Conservative MP Christian Wakeford also made blackmail allegations.

Christian Wakeford, the Bury South MP who defected to Labour, later described how the Tory whips had warned him over funding for a new school in his constituency if he rebelled in a vote over free school meals.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats called on Friday for all accompanying evidence – including emails and witness accounts – to be released alongside the report's publication.

The senior MP who heads the Commons "sleaze" watchdog has warned Government attempts to pressurise Tory MPs seeking to oust Boris Johnson are illegal.

"We are not the United States.

We don't run a 'pork barrel' system.

i am meeting the police early next week."

read more : 'not moral or immoral but amoral' : party whips have always revelled in their notoriety meanwhile, ahead of his meeting with scotland yard next week, mr wragg, told the daily telegraph that he would outline "several" examples of bullying and intimidation, in some cases involving public money.

"I stand by what I have said.

no amount of gas-lighting will change that.

"The offer of Number 10 to investigate is kind but I shall leave it to the experts.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said : "As with any such allegations, should a criminal offence be reported to the Met, it would be considered."

while his defection appeared to have put the plotting on hold, the publication of the report by sue gray, the senior civil servant investigating lockdown parties in downing st elsewhere in whitehall.

It is likely to lead to renewed calls from opposition parties for a police investigation if there is any evidence Covid rules were broken – including at a drinks do in May 2020 attended by Mr Johnson.

mr wragg, one of seven tory mps to have called publicly for the prime minister to resign, stunned westminster with his allegations this week of a campaign of intimidation by no 10 amounting to criminal conduct.

ministers have sought to dismiss the claims, insisting the whips had no role in the allocation of public funding.

Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker It could trigger a fresh wave of no confidence letters to the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady- 54 of which are needed to trigger a vote on Mr Johnson's leadership.

Davidson would submit no confidence letter The PM is expected to spend the weekend at Chequers, his official country residence, seeking to assuage potential rebels.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is reportedly playing a key role in the operation along with three former whips and other loyalists.

He also referred to claims that Boris Johnson himself had been directly involved.

Baroness Davidson, who was a vocal opponent of Mr Johnson's Tory leadership bid as well as Brexit, told The Times if she was an MP, she would submit a letter of no confidence.

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