POLL: Should Boris Johnson resign as Prime Minister?
Boris Johnson: Former Tory minister suggests 'change of PM'
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At the Downing Street press conference last night, the Prime Minister announced that everyone in England should work from home where possible, facemasks must be worn in all indoor venues including theatres and cinemas, vaccine passports will be required for nightclubs and other large venues, and there will be daily testing of people identified as a Covid case contact. The new measures are expected cause a Tory rebellion in Westminster.
Tory MP for Wokingham John Redwood said: “I expect a record number of Conservative MPs to vote against these latest restrictions. Many more this time round do not think a good case has been made.”
Conservative SMP Douglass Ross said: “There is no evidence that vaccine passports stop the spread of Covid.
“I didn’t vote for them at Holyrood and I won’t be voting for them at Westminster.”
Tory MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley tweeted: “I said I would not vote for vaccine passports, which I believe are ineffective & discriminatory. I also cannot vote for restrictions ‘just in case’ at a time when hospitalisations and deaths are falling. I don’t believe the evidence supports Plan B and I will not vote for it.”
Mr Johnson also said there should be a “national conversation” about the unvaccinated going forward.
Tory MP for Guildford Angela Richardson said: “I can say categorically that compulsory vaccinations are a step too far. That is my contribution to a national conversation.”
At the end of last month, letters of no confidence were filed against Mr Johnson by Tory MPs, and after the Owen Paterson corruption scandal, and now a flat denial of a No 10 Christmas party that broke Covid rules, more letters are expected to be filed.
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At the briefing last night, journalists asked the Prime Minister repeatedly why the public should listen to his guidance after leaked footage shows his own employees joking about a party at Downing Street last Christmas that broke Covid rules.
The Prime Minister insisted that no Covid rules were broken and that that the party, reported to have involved between 40 and 50 people in a room at No 10, did not happen.
Mr Johnson said regardless of “politics”, the public should follow the medical advice of Chris Whitty for the good of the nation.
The leaked footage showed Mr Johnson’s then-press secretary Allegra Stratton laughing about a Christmas party at Downing Street not being socially distanced, at a time when Britons were told not to visit their loved ones dying in hospital.
She has since resigned, and Mr Johnson repeatedly claimed he was sad to see her go, that she will be missed, and that she was very good at her job – a response that infuriated people across the country.
Last night, another video emerged of Jacob Rees-Mogg laughing about the scandal at another party on Monday night.
In the video, Mr Rees-Mogg jokes: “We’re all here obeying regulations, aren’t we?
“I mean this party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year’s time, you are all very carefully socially distanced.
“We’ve moved, I’m pleased to tell you, from the metric back to the imperial system. I notice you’re all at least two inches away from each other.
“Which is, as I understand it, what the regulations require during the social distancing period.”
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Whilst many MPs, including some from the Tory backbenches, expressed shame and horror at Ms Stratton’s comments, it appears Jacob Rees-Mogg – the Prime Minister’s leader of the house of commons – found the footage amusing enough to joke about on stage.
Labour MP Karl Turner said: “This was Jacob Rees Mogg just last night. Taking the p*** out of all of us. The plebs.”
Barrister Jo Maugham said: “Jacob Rees Mogg has been sneering at the commoners for abiding by the rules that don’t apply to his social class.”
A senior Conservative told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg the Owen Paterson affair showed the Prime Minister “didn’t think the rules applied to his friends”, adding: “This video demonstrates that’s widely shared in No 10 by senior political advisers.
“People prevented by the Government from seeing loved ones at end of their life will conclude they were taken for fools.”
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