BORIS Johnson is reportedly facing a backlash from his own MPs after a host of U-turns has resulted in Labour pulling level with the Tories in polling for the first time in over a year.

With MPs set to return to Westminster on Tuesday, a new poll by Opinium has placed Labour at level pegging with the Conservatives for the first time since July 2019.

A snapshot Westminster survey by Opinium put the Tories and Labour neck and neck on 40 per cent – showing the Conservatives have let a 26-point lead slip.

The Liberal Democrats, who elected former Cabinet minister Sir Ed Davey as leader this week, stood at six per cent in the poll – while the SNP are at five per cent, in a UK-wide poll.

Sir Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, has stressed it is becoming increasingly tricky to defend actions by the UK Government action which has seen decisions quickly abandoned by ministers.

In recent days, Mr Johnson has followed U-turns by Nicola Sturgeon’s government north of the Border over exam results and face coverings in schools.

Sir Charles, usually seen as a key ally to the Prime Minister, told the Observer: “Too often it looks like this government licks its finger and sticks it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult for backbenchers now to promote and defend government policy as so often that policy is changed or abandoned without notice.

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“Whether this approach is by design or by accident, the climate of uncertainty it creates is unsustainable and erodes morale.”

The handling of the Covid-19 crisis – especially the fiasco over English exam results – has provoked public concern from some Tory MPs throughout the summer.

A U-turn over whether English secondary-school pupils should wear masks in some situations has also caused grumbles among some backbenchers over how the situation was being handled.