Boris Johnson cancels journey after member of the family’s constructive Covid check whereas Tory management disaster grows – UK politics stay | Politics

Good morning. Boris Johnson’s place as Conservative celebration chief and prime minister is extra perilous than ever earlier than however, after a wretched and humiliating day – which additionally noticed open warfare escape between the celebration in Scotland and the UK nationwide management – his future is unclear, as a result of the parliamentary celebration collectively continues to be making up its thoughts about what to do subsequent.

We had been because of hear from him this morning, as a result of he had a go to deliberate in Lancashire. However that has been cancelled “because of a member of the family testing constructive for coronavirus”, Downing Avenue says. A No 10 spokesperson stated:

The prime minister will now not be visiting Lancashire right this moment because of a member of the family testing constructive for coronavirus. He’ll comply with the steering for vaccinated shut contacts, together with day by day testing and limiting contact with others.

Most Tory MPs who’ve commented on Johnson’s management say they need to wait till they learn the findings of Sue Grey’s report into all of the partygate allegations. However Grey is a senior civil servant, which signifies that she in all probability takes the view that in the end whether or not or not the PM stays is a political judgment that must be taken by politicians (his colleagues). Final evening Nick Macpherson, former everlasting secretary on the Treasury, posted this on Twitter.

Nick Macpherson

Will not the report simply set out the information in Sue Grey’s inimitable model? As we noticed right this moment, it is open to the PM to interpret the information. And so the report will not be a smoking gun, although it may trigger an extra downwards lurch in Home of Commons’ confidence. #minesarosé

January 12, 2022

The Grey report could come subsequent week, but when Macpherson and others are proper, it gained’t clearly settle the problem of whether or not or not the PM ought to go.

Though many Tory MPs are privately saying that Johnson’s place is untenable, however there’s little proof that they’re working actively to do away with him. Final evening Kitty Donaldson, Bloomberg’s political editor, stated she thought solely 4 of them have written letters to the 1922 Commitee chairman asking for a confidence vote.

Kitty Donaldson

For something to maneuver 54 Tory MPs have to ship letters of no confidence to the chair of the Tory backbench 1922 committee. My soundings put that on about 4 proper now.

January 12, 2022

And up to now solely 4 Tory MPs (Sir Roger Gale, Douglas Ross, William Wragg and Caroline Nokes) have referred to as for Johnson’s resignation. The Spectator is protecting a tally.

MPs will making a judgment concerning the affect Johnson’s management can have on their possibilities of re-election, and this morning a brand new YouGov ballot provides Labour its greatest lead over the Conservatives since 2013.

Henry Zeffman

EXCLUSIVE Occasions/YouGov ballot provides Labour their greatest lead since Dec 2013

Lab 38 (+1)
Con 28 (-5)
LDem 13 (+3)
Inexperienced 7 (+1)
RefUK 4 (-1)

January 12, 2022

However even polling figures like this gained’t essentially settle the problem for the parliamentary celebration. MPs will keep in mind that being 10-points behind Labour in 2013 didn’t cease the Conservatives profitable the next election, and there’s no consensus over who would succeed Johnson if there have been a contest, and whether or not they would positively do a lot better.

So the celebration appears caught in the intervening time. However that doesn’t make Johnson’s place secure and his difficulties had been illustrated this morning when the cupboard minister doing interviews this morning didn’t deny stories that privately Johnson has been telling colleagues he has accomplished nothing incorrect.

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, picked this up yesterday.

Laura Kuenssberg

One other Tory MP informed me that within the tearoom the PM informed him and colleagues ‘it is not his fault and he is bravely taking the blame for others’ – ‘brought on a lot consternation amongst colleagues’ provided that he’d simply given a public apology

January 12, 2022

And a number of other papers report the identical factor right this moment. “MPs had been additionally irritated by the prime minister showing much less contrite in non-public conversations after his Commons look than he had been in public,” the Guardian stories.

The Occasions (paywall) stories the identical factor. It says:

Inside minutes of delivering a “heartfelt” apology to the Commons for attending a drinks occasion within the backyard of No 10 through the first lockdown, Boris Johnson had a considerably completely different message for Tory MPs within the tearoom.

The prime minister was, based on these current, removed from contrite. He informed colleagues that “we have now taken numerous hits in politics and that is one in every of them”, including: “Typically we take the credit score for issues we don’t deserve and this time we’re taking hits for one thing we don’t deserve.”

Douglas Ross, the chief of the Scottish Conservatives, stated that Johnson took the same tone when he spoke to him yesterday afternoon. He stated that the prime minister informed him that he “believes he didn’t do something incorrect”.

And right here is an excerpt from the FT’s story (paywall).

A number of MPs stated Johnson was nonetheless in denial. “He stated that generally in life you get the credit score for belongings you don’t deserve, whereas generally you get the blame for one thing you don’t deserve, too,” stated one Tory MP. “He goes by his life pondering he doesn’t deserve the blame.”

Requested about these stories on the At this time programme, Brandon Lewis, the Northern Eire secretary, dismissed them as “tittle tattle that will or could not have come out of the [Commons] tea room”. He stated he had not heard Johnson himself say that he was to not blame for what occurred, and he stated Johnson was “very, very honest” in his apology.

I might be focusing totally on the fall-out from this disaster right this moment. Johnson isn’t doing his go to, however we are going to get a No 10 foyer briefing, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chief of the Commons, might be taking questions within the Commons.

I attempt to monitor the feedback beneath the road (BTL) however it’s unattainable to learn all of them. In case you have a direct query, do embody “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra prone to discover it. I do attempt to reply questions, and if they’re of normal curiosity, I’ll publish the query and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you wish to entice my consideration shortly, it’s in all probability higher to make use of Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you may e mail me at

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