BORIS Johnson’s allies are signalling support for Priti Patel as the new Tory Party chairman – but her own sources are pushing back at the idea.

It follows Oliver Dowden's resignation as Conservative chairman after the party suffered two by-election defeats, saying in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “someone must take responsibility”.

In Tiverton and Honiton the LibDems overturned a 24,000 Tory majority to win, while Labour reclaimed Wakefield.

The whips’ office now sees Patel as the top choice to replace Dowden owing to her ties to the party’s grassroots and reputation as a campaigner, The Telegraph has reported.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson issues defence of his leadership of Tories after disastrous by-elections

It is not thought that Johnson will act with haste to fill the role of party chairman.

Patel has been at the centre of the row over the UK Government’s scheme to deport asylum seekers to migrant centres in Rwanda.

The National:

The plan suffered a major blow when, on the day of the first flight, every single person meant to be on the plane won legal bids to delay the deportations.

The Tory sources see moving Patel to the role of chairman as a way of cooling down the Rwanda row.

However, a Cabinet source warned The Telegraph that a reshuffle would be tricky to pull off amid the threat of resignations by senior figures, adding: “How the hell can he do anything resembling a meaningful reshuffle without it being really difficult because there will be bodies everywhere?”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to avoid deportation policy on visit to Rwanda for Chogm

A source close to Patel told the paper that Patel taking up the post is “never going to happen”.

Describing the calls as a “backhanded compliment”, they added: “People regularly say she is going to be made party chairman at every reshuffle and that is never going to happen.”