Boris Johnson appears to lack support among the new cohort of Tory MPs elected in May, potentially harming his chances for his leadership bid.
An unnamed new MP told the Daily Mail he was unimpressed by London's mayor. He said: "You'll find most of the 70 of us feel the same way. We don't really see him as a potential leader. He's not serious enough."
Johnson announced that he would run for the leadership of the Conservative Party on August 6. Since the election, when he became MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Johnson has seen backing for his main rivals to the leadership increase. One Conservative minister told the newspaper that Johnson's best chance of becoming leader may have receded and that he "may have missed his moment".
Johnson had been widely perceived as the favourite to replace David Cameron, who has stated that he will stand down at the 2020 election.
Cannon plans blasted
Earlier this week, on July 15, the Mayor saw a public setback when Home Secretary Theresa May overruled his plans to deploy German water cannon in riots in London. May is another major contender for the leadership of the party.
Johnson was present in the Commons on 15 July, sitting directly behind the home secretary when she announced her veto. He has already spent £218,000 on three second-hand German water cannon, which will not now be deployed.
According to reporting in The Times, Johnson discovered only at the last minute that May's veto would be delivered in the Commons, rather than by letter, adding to his discomfort.
Johnson is believed to blame the prime minister for this slight, amid reports that relations between them have deteriorated. An unnamed ally of Johnson told the Times: "Dave is an absolute hypocrite. It was a deliberate humiliation."
Meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne has seen his Budget acclaimed as a success within the Conservative party, boosting his leadership chances. One of the main planks of the Budget was its championing of a "living wage".
Johnson has not been supportive, stating in an interview that the living wage "does need to be higher in London".