Boris Johnson news live: PM to undergo questioning of party No. 10

DUP’s Jim Shannon breaks down over mother-in-law who ‘died alone’ of Covid

Boris Johnson faces tough PMQs later in the day, with Labor leader Keir Starmer expected to question the prime minister over reports he was attending an illegal party in the yard of No. 10 during the height of the initial lockdown.

The mounting scandal has led some Tories to turn against Johnson, including Conservative MP Nigel Mills, who said the prime minister’s stance would be “untenable” if he broke the law.

This comes as the independent heard claims that Downing Street staff were being told to “clean up” their phones by removing possible evidence about parties being held at number 10.

Commenting on this exclusive story, Peter Cardwell, former special counsel to both Boris Johnson and Theresa May, said: “If someone removes information, it’s highly unethical and potentially criminal, and they absolutely shouldn’t be doing that.”

Downing Street has so far declined to comment on reports that 100 people had been invited to a gathering on May 20, 2020. It was reported that 30 people attended the event, with multiple sources saying the Prime Minister was there.

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PM not required to resign if he attends party, senior Tory says

Tory MP Huw Merriman has said Boris Johnson will not have to resign if he attends a get-together on May 20, 2020.

Asked on Radio 4 Today’s program whether the prime minister should resign if it turns out he attended the party, Merriman said: “No, I don’t believe that.

“We don’t know what happened and I feel bad for speculating before we know the facts – but as far as I’m concerned we are judging people around. That includes the measures taken during the pandemic, the support, the vaccination program, (and) sticking to Plan B. Then you assess where people have gone wrong.”

Merriman said he wanted Johnson to use PMQ to clarify what was happening. “I think from the Prime Minister that it is what took place, what he attended, more clarity is needed because we are back where we were a month ago before the inquiry was launched, where people were demanding answers. We are all in the dark – and so am I.”

Adam Forrest January 12, 2022 08:46

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PM ‘threat to nation’s health’, say Lib Dems

Boris Johnson has been described as a “threat to the health of the nation” because he reportedly appeared at a “bring your own drinking party” in lockdown.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said Boris Johnson should quit over the allegations because he is “not now able” to lead the country through the pandemic.

Sir Ed told BBC breakfastHe said to parliament and the country before Christmas when he apologized that he knew nothing about the parties, and now we know he was at least one of those parties.

“So clearly he 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 those violations.

“These are painful, painful mistakes. So if he was at the party, and it seems very clear that he was, then he has to go now, he has to step down now.”

Rory SullivanJanuary 12, 2022 08:31

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Downing Street staff told to ‘clean up’ phones amid lockdown party allegations

Two sources have told the independent that no 10 staff members were ordered to “clean up” their phones during an investigation into Downing Street parties.

A senior employee told them “to get rid of anything that might look bad,” a source claimed.

My colleague Anna Isaac has this exclusive story:

Rory SullivanJanuary 12, 2022 08:12

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Watch: Prime Minister’s position ‘untenable’ if he attended lockdown party, Conservative MP says

The Tories are outraged by the government’s silence on the Downing Street party that is violating the lockdown and believed to have been held on May 20, 2020.

Conservative MP Nigel Mills is among those who believe the prime minister will have to resign if he attends the big rally:

Boris Johnson’s position ‘untenable’ as he attends No10 party, says Tory MP

Rory SullivanJanuary 12, 2022 08:08

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No ministers sent on media round amid ‘party gate’ scandal

The government this morning refused to send ministers on media rounds amid the ‘partygate’ scandal, broadcasters have revealed.

Sky News’ Sophie Morris confirms the news:

Radio 4 says ‘no minister available’ for Today show amid No10 party scandal

Rory SullivanJanuary 12, 2022 08:04

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Boris Johnson’s position ‘untenable’ if he attends a party, says Tory MP

Prime Minister’s position ‘untenable’ if he attended a party, says Tory MP.

Conservative MP Nigel Mills has warned Boris Johnson’s stance will be “untenable” if he knowingly attends 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 understand how he can survive if he has accepted his resignation for a lot less,” he told BBC Newsnight.

“He accepted the resignation of his spokesperson (Allegra Stratton) because he didn’t go to the party, but joked about it at a time of much lighter restrictions. I just find that untenable.”

Mills added: “I don’t think we need an investigation to find out if the Prime Minister was there. He knows whether he was there or not. Just come out and tell me what happened.”

Rory SullivanJanuary 12, 2022 07:36

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PM ‘must answer’ if he was at a party, says former adviser

Peter Cardwell, former special adviser to both Boris Johnson and Theresa May, says the prime minister should be “on par with the country” and say whether he attended the drinks events in May 2020.”

Keir Starmer only has to ask the same question six times – were you at the party on May 20, 2020, yes or no? – and Boris Johnson has to answer,” he told Sky News on 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 Independent’s Exclusive story that Downing Street staff were advised to “clean up” their phones by removing information that could suggest lockdown parties were being held at No. 10, Mr Cardwell said: “If anyone removes information that is highly unethical and potentially criminal, and she absolutely shouldn’t.”

He added: “Boris Johnson has made a career out of getting out of tricky situations. Whether he will get out of it remains to be seen. The vultures are circling, but no one is sticking the knife yet.”

Adam Forrest January 12, 2022 07:24

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Good morning

Good morning, and welcome back to The Independent’s live political report.

Today I bring you the latest on the Downing Street party scandal. With politicians in the House of Commons outraged by this affair, Boris Johnson faces a very difficult PMQ in the afternoon.

Rory SullivanJanuary 12, 2022 07:22

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