DUP’s Jim Shannon collapses over stepmother who ‘died alone’ of Covid
Boris Johnson faces a tough PMQ later today, Labor leader Keir Starmer is expected to question the PM on reports he attended an illegal party in No 10’s garden at the height of the first lockdown.
The growing scandal has prompted some Tories to turn against Mr Johnson, including Tory MP Nigel Mills, who said the Prime Minister’s position would be “untenable” if he broke the law.
It comes as The independent heard claims that Downing Street staff were ordered to ‘clean’ their phones by removing potential evidence regarding the parties held at No 10.
Responding to this exclusive story, Peter Cardwell, former special adviser to Boris Johnson and Theresa May, said: “If someone removes information it is very unethical and possibly criminal, and it does absolutely shouldn’t. ”
Downing Street has so far declined to comment on reports that 100 people were invited to a rally on May 20, 2020. It is understood that up to 30 people attended the event, with multiple sources claiming the Prime Minister was among them.
‘Unforgivable’ if PM celebrated during lockdown, says Rayner
It is “unforgivable” if Boris Johnson was partying at a time when many people could not say goodbye to loved ones, Angela Rayner said.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program, the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party said: “People reflected on what was happening to them back then in May and a lot of people are still mourning their loved ones to whom they are born. ‘couldn’t say goodbye to the time, and to think the prime minister was laughing and partying is just unforgivable. “
Ms Rayner added that NHS staff were working hard but “didn’t barge into the garden with cheese and wine and ‘bring your own booze’ scenarios”.
“A lot of people back then understood the rules, and the rules were very clear,” she said.
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022 9:20 AM
Starmer to face Johnson at PMQ
During last week’s PMQs, Angela Rayner replaced Keir Starmer, who was self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
After negative test results Tuesday and Wednesday, the Labor leader can return to the Commons for today’s session.
He should ask Boris Johnson if he attended a big party in his No.10 backyard during the first lockdown.
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022 9:00 AM
PM doesn’t need to resign if he attended the party, says top conservative
Tory MP Huw Merriman said Boris Johnson did not need to step down if he attended an aperitif on May 20, 2020.
When asked on Radio 4 Today if the Prime Minister should step down if it turned out he attended the party, Merriman replied, “No, I don’t think so.
“We don’t know what happened and I feel rotten speculating before I know the facts – but as far as I’m concerned, we judge people on the whole. This includes the actions that were taken during the pandemic, the support, the immunization schedule, (and) mastery of Plan B. Then you then judge where people went wrong.
Merriman said he wanted Johnson to use PMQ to clarify what had happened. “I think from the Prime Minister, that’s what happened, what he attended, more clarity is needed because we are back where we were a month ago before the launch. survey place where people ask for answers. We’re all in the dark – and that includes me.
Adam forrest January 12, 2022, 8:46 AM
Prime Minister “threatens nation’s health,” says Lib Dems
Boris Johnson has been described as a “threat to the health of the nation” for allegedly appearing at a locked out “bring your own booze party”.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has said Boris Johnson is expected to step down over the allegations as he is “now unable” to lead the country during the pandemic.
Sir Ed said BBC breakfast: “He told the parliament and the country before Christmas when he apologized that he didn’t know the parties, and now we know he was at least one of those parties.
“So he clearly lied, he broke the Ministerial Code, he broke the law, he misled Parliament – any prime minister in the past would resign for just one of these offenses.
“These are serious, serious mistakes. So if he was at the party, and it seems very clear that he was there, then he now has to go, he now has to resign.
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022, 8:31 AM
Downing Street staff told to ‘clean up’ phones amid lockdown party allegations
Two sources said The independent that No. 10 staff have been ordered to ‘clean’ their phones as part of an investigation into the Downing Street parties.
A senior member of staff told them to “get rid of anything that might look bad,” a source said.
My colleague Anna isaac has this exclusive story:
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022 8:12 AM
Watch: PM’s stance ‘untenable’ if he attended lockdown party, Tory MP says
Tories are angered by the government’s silence over the Downing Street party that allegedly violated the lockdown, which took place on May 20, 2020.
Tory MP Nigel Mills is among those who believe the Prime Minister will have to step down if he attended the large rally:
Boris Johnson’s position ‘untenable’ if he attended No10 party, says Tory MP
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022 8:08 AM
No minister was sent to the media amid the partygate scandal
The government refused to send ministers to media this morning amid the partygate scandal, broadcasters revealed.
Sky News’ Sophie Morries confirms the news:
Radio 4 says “no ministers available” for Today show amid No10 party scandal
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022 8:04 AM
Boris Johnson’s position ‘untenable’ if he attended a party, says Tory MP
The prime minister’s position is “untenable” if he attended a party, the Tory MP said.
Tory MP Nigel Mills has warned Boris Johnson’s position would be ‘untenable’ if he knowingly attended a ‘bring your own booze’ party in Garden No.10 in violation of Covid rules.
“If the Prime Minister knowingly attended a party, I don’t see how he can survive by accepting resignations for much less,” he told BBC Newsnight.
“He accepted the resignation of his spokesperson (Allegra Stratton) for not attending the party but joking at a time of much lighter restrictions. I just think it’s untenable.
Mills added: “I don’t think we need an investigation to determine if the Prime Minister was there. He knows if he was there or not. Come out and say what happened.
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022, 7:36 AM
PM “must respond” if he attended the party, says ex-advisor
Peter Cardwell, former special adviser to Boris Johnson and Theresa May, said the PM was to “get to country level” and say whether he attended the drinks in May 2020. “
Keir Starmer only needs to ask the same question six times: Did you attend the party on May 20, 2020, yes or no? – and Boris Johnson has to give an answer, ”he told Sky News of today’s PMQs.
He added: “If he says yes, it looks like he broke the rules and lied. If he says no, there were witnesses who said he was there.
Asked about The independents exclusive story that Downing Street staff have been asked to ‘clean up’ their phones by removing information that could suggest lockdown parties have taken place at No 10, Mr Cardwell said: ‘If anyone removes very unethical and possibly criminal information, and they absolutely shouldn’t be.
He added: “Boris Johnson has made a career out of tough times. It remains to be seen if he will release this one. The vultures are circling around, but no one is digging the knife just yet.
Adam forrest January 12, 2022, 7:24 AM
Hello and welcome again The independents live political coverage.
Today I am going to bring you the latest news on the Downing Street party scandal. With politicians across the Commons exasperated by this affair, Boris Johnson faces a very difficult PMQ at noon.
Rory sullivanJanuary 12, 2022, 7:22 AM