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Boris Johnson news – live: PM ‘planning No 10 clear-out’ as sixth Tory MP calls for resignation over Partygate



Johnson has ‘lost moral authority to lead’ and ‘must go’, says Starmer

Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing to oust members of his inner circle in a “clear-out” at No 10 while drawing up a raft of new policies to get voters back on-side, as he scrambles to stop his premiership from being engulfed by the mounting Partygate scandal.

After sources told The Independent that Mr Johnson’s chief of staff Dan Rosenfield and private secretary Martin Reynolds could be forced out under a plan named Operation Save Big Dog, The Sunday Times now reports that a further plan named Operation Red Meat could see the BBC licence fee frozen, military involvement in the Channel crossings effort, and a “booze ban” in No 10.

It comes as a sixth Tory MP, former children’s minister Tim Loughton, called on the prime minister to resign as a result of his “obfuscation, prevarication and evasion” in handling the row.

Meanwhile, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has asked Cabinet secretary Simon Case to provide “urgent” answers about “unprecedented” allegations that No 10 staff were pressured to delete evidence of illegal parties in Downing Street.

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Six Conservative MPs have now publicly called for Boris Johnson to quit over the way he has handled the Partygate revelations.

In a post on Facebook on Saturday, former children’s minister Tim Loughton said Mr Johnson’s position had become “untenable” and that his “resignation is the only way to bring this whole unfortunate episode to an end”.

Apologising for the “great hurt” caused to his constituents by the allegations, the East Worthing and Shoreham MP added: “Frankly the issue for me is not how many sausage rolls or glasses of prosecco the prime minister actually consumed.

“The reason for my conclusion in calling for him to stand down is the way that he has handled the mounting revelations in the last few weeks. Obfuscation, prevarication and evasion have been the order of the day when clarity, honesty and contrition was what was needed and what the British people deserve.”

Mr Loughton said he knows “what I need to do” if the PM does not quit in the “next few days”, in an indication he could be prepared to submit a letter of no confidence to the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs.

Andy Gregory16 January 2022 08:35

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Operation Red Meat: Boris Johnson reportedly planning raft of policies to save premiership

Good morning, I’ll be back on our politics blog today to bring you live updates, as the fallout from the Partygate scandal continues.

“Boris is preparing to lay down the lives of his staff to save his own … It will be the Night of the Long Scapegoats,” an MP close to No 10 was quoted as saying by the paper, which also reported on a new plan named Operation Red Meat.

This could see the prime minister unveil a raft of new policies to get the public back on-side, including a two-year freeze of the BBC licence fee, military involvement in the Channel crossings effort, and a No 10 workplace “booze ban” to end the drinking culture in “club Downing Street”, according to the paper.

Andy Gregory16 January 2022 07:58

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PM’s approval rating drops nearly 20 points in one week, poll shows

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 20:39

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Voices: ‘The threads of privilege and disgrace that connect Boris Johnson and Prince Andrew’

Britain’s two most powerful institutions are teetering — and the reason should be obvious for all to see, writes Andrew Buncombe.

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 20:26

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Boris Johnson told to ‘lead or step aside’ as more partygate claims surface

Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to get a grip on the drip feed of revelations about No 10 rule-breaking as he fights to stay in office.

Former Conservative minister Tobias Ellwood said the Prime Minister must “lead or step aside”, telling the BBC: “We need leadership.”

The comments by the chairman of the Commons Defence Committee came as further claims emerged of regular “wine time Friday” gatherings in Downing Street while coronavirus rules were in place.

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 20:04

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No 10 culture ‘set from top’, says Angela Rayner, amid rumours of Tory partygate ‘clean-up’

The deputy Labour leader has said that No 10 staff should not be “forced to take the blame” following reports that a senior member of staff had urged them to delete party evidence from their devices.

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 19:35

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Furious Tory MPs put Boris Johnson on notice over No 10 lockdown party revelations

Boris Johnson was facing mounting fury from within his own party on Saturday as anger grew over the partygate scandal engulfing his premiership.

Former allies were among those calling on the prime minister to stand down as MPs’ inboxes filled with angry correspondence from constituents.

As Mr Johnson bunkered down in No 10 after another damaging week of revelations, ex-minister Tobias Ellwood was among those floating the prospect of a change at the top, saying Mr Johnson should “lead or step aside”.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 19:19

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Plans for temporary return of ‘double-jobbing’ for Northern Irish politicians condemned

A Government plan to temporarily restore double-jobbing for Northern Irish politicians has triggered fierce opposition from four of the five Executive parties.

The UK Government is facing criticism over plans to allow MPs to retain their seats in Westminster while being elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The return of the “dual mandate”, or double-jobbing, would allow DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson to contest the upcoming Assembly elections while also remaining MP for Lagan Valley at Westminster.

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 18:50

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Watch: ‘Kill the bill’ protests take place across the UK

‘Kill the bill’ protests take place across the UK

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 18:25

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Activists rally against ‘draconian’ police bill across Britain

Activists have taken to the streets across the country in “Kill the Bill“ protests, calling on the House of Lords to reject the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill which would restrict non-violent protest.

Demonstrations took place in cities including London Bristol Coventry, Newcastle, Liverpool Manchester, Sheffield, Plymouth on Saturday.

The action came ahead of a crucial vote on the bill by peers on Monday.

Emily Atkinson15 January 2022 18:00



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