No 10 apologises to Queen for parties on eve of Prince Philip’s funeral
Boris Johnson is in the “last chance saloon”, a Cabinet minister has warned, after Downing Street was hit by a series of fresh party claims and an exclusive poll for The Independent found that 70 per cent of voters want him gone.
No 10 was forced to apologise to Buckingham Palace on Friday following reports of two parties held on the eve of Prince Philip’s socially-distanced funeral, while a further report emerged alleging that regular “wine time Friday” gatherings continued in Downing Street despite coronavirus restrictions.
In a bid to save his premiership, the prime minister has launched “Operation Save Big Dog”, as he seeks to shore up his own support within his party and draws up a list of officials who can offer their resignation after Sue Gray publishes the findings of her inquiry into the matter,The Independent understands.
With Ms Gray reported to have been “completely blindsided” by the new revelations and many Tory MPs’ inboxes supposedly flooded with complaints, the chair of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy said the party must now find the stomach to force out “the worst prime minister of my lifetime”.
In his daily “View From Westminster” newsletter, our chief political commentator John Rentoul focused on the “instantly historic” image of a No 10 staffer filling a suitcase with bottles of booze at the Strand Co-op, as reported by The Telegraph.
Referring to Times Radio host Matt Chorley coining the phrase getting “absolutely suitcased”, my colleague suggested: “This is how governments end.”
Andy Gregory15 January 2022 09:36
Exclusive: Immigration raids on care homes continued during lockdown
Away from the No 10 parties row for a moment, The Independent can reveal that the Home Office continued to carry out immigration raids on care homes during the pandemic – prompting concern that ministers were pursuing the their hostile environment policies over public health.
Data obtained via freedom of information laws show immigration enforcement carried out a raid on average every three months in the 21 months to September 2021, including at least one last January, when there was a national lockdown in place.
Our social affairs correspondent May Bulman has the details in this exclusive report:
Andy Gregory15 January 2022 09:26
Prominent Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood has warned that Boris Johnson must “lead, or get out of the way”.
Mr Ellwood, who chairs the Commons defence select committee, told The Times: “This sort of behaviour shouldn’t be conducted at any time, let alone during a lockdown … I say to the prime minister, ‘Lead, or get out of the way and step aside’.”
Andy Gregory15 January 2022 09:19
According to The Daily Telegraph, party insiders estimate that a maximum of roughly 20 Tory MPs have submitted letters of no confidence in Boris Johnson to the 1922 committee.
That number is less than half of the 54 letters required to trigger a leadership vote.
Andy Gregory15 January 2022 09:00