Politics

Government faces claims of seven lockdown gatherings – follow live


Sobbing Allegra Stratton resigns over No 10 party video

Tory backbenchers continue to mount pressure on Boris Johnson amid allegations of rule-breaking Downing Street Christmas parties last year while the nation was in lockdown.

The Prime Minister is facing anger from MPs after he hastily triggered a switch to his Plan B for coronavirus restrictions to tackle the omicron variant amid the party crisis that saw one of Mr Johnson’s top aides, Allegra Stratton, resign.

Conservative backbenchers openly questioned the government‘s “credibility” in being able to enforce the rules while so many believed Downing Street had breached them.

Conservative former chief whip Mark Harper added: “What I am really concerned about is that it is unquestionably the case that over the last few weeks the Government’s credibility, whether it is on Paterson or on the Christmas parties, has taken a hit.”

It comes as the government is now facing accusations that ministers, aides and officials attended at least seven different parties while the nation was in lockdown last Christmas.

Follow updates below:

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Boris Johnson faces pressure from own side as Covid party row claims

Boris Johnson continues to face pressure from within his own party over his bungled handling of allegations of a lockdown-breaching party at 10 Downing Street, as the crisis gripping his government forced the resignation of a top aide.

In a bid to draw a line under the debacle, the prime minister ordered an inquiry by his most senior civil servant into the events of 18 December, when up to 50 aides are reported to have enjoyed alcohol, food and a secret Santa at a time when London was under strict Tier 3 controls barring most indoor gatherings.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more details below:

Thomas Kingsley9 December 2021 07:53

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Welcome

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s UK politics blog. Follow the latest updates from Westminster as they happen.

Thomas Kingsley9 December 2021 07:48

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