William Hague has warned that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be facing a confidence vote in the near future.

The former Leader of the Conservative party, who has lived near Welshpool since 2015, was addressing the party's reaction to Sue Gray's report into partygate.

Speaking to Times Radio on Wednesday, May 31, Mr Hague was asked about Tory MPs who have turned their backs on Mr Johnson following the publication of the report.

“I think the Sue Gray report has been one of those slow fuse explosions in politics," he said.

“A lot of people misread it really, the events of last week, as meaning the trouble is over and that Boris is free.

“That’s actually not the mood in the Conservative Party, which is very troubled about the content of that report.

“I think the Conservative party will need to resolve this one way or another, because to be an effective party they either need to rally behind the Prime Minister they’ve got or they need to decide to force him out.”

Mr Hague added: “The fuse is getting closer to the dynamite, and it’s speeding up.”

When asked on the likelihood Johnson facing a vote of no confidence soon, Mr Hague said: “I think they’re moving toward either next week or around the end of June, they’re moving towards having a ballot.”

Officially triggering a vote of no confidence would require 54 MPs to submit a letter demanding one.

Bob Neill, Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, has submitted a letter of no confidence.

He said: “You’ve got to expect the people at the centre of power, the people who are making those rules, follow the same rules.

“It’s not just the incidents themselves, it’s that doing otherwise undermines trust in the Prime Minister and in politics as a system, which is dangerous in the long run.”

Regarding Mr Neill’s letter, Mr Hague added: “When an MP as reputable, as experienced, as respected as Bob Neill gives that opinion, that’s very serious trouble fore the Prime Minister.”

Sixteen Tory MPs have confirmed that they sent a letter, while another 20 have called for Johnson to resign but not confirmed a letter and a further 32 have publicly criticised the Prime Minister.

The exact number of letters is known only to Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee.