BORIS Johnson imposed dramatic Plan B virus rules yesterday — as the Tories faced a backlash over last year’s No10 Christmas party.
The Grinch PM was accused of “one rule for them, one for us”.
Senior Tory Mark Harper fumed: “Why should people listen to his instructions to follow the rules when people inside Number 10 Downing Street don’t do so?”
He apologised for the Chrismas party row, and top aide Allegra Stratton quit in tears after footage showed her joking with fellow staff over the bash.
Speaking at Downing Street, the PM said he was left with no choice but to impose measures.
Stats show 568 Brits have been infected with Omicron, but scientists say 10,000 have the bug.
Gloomy ministers believe infection rates will soar to one million by the end of the month.
Tories rounded on the PM for the “tyrannical” measures and said fed-up Brits cannot be expected to stick to rules when Downing Street staff do not.
Tory MP Greg Smith raged: “We are still being encouraged to go to our own Christmas parties while being told to avoid the office at all costs.
🔵 Read our Omicron variant live blog for the latest news
“These rules are absurdly baffling to even the most authoritarian lockdown supporter.”
Privately, Tory MPs accused Boris of rushing the Plan B decision to distract from the party row.
One fumed: “This is all a dead cat to distract from their lockdown-breaking party. It is no way to run a country.”
MPs claimed Mr Johnson had undermined the rollout of his Plan B restrictions by wrecking public confidence in Covid rules.
But he insisted he knew nothing of last year’s bash at No 10 and launched an internal inquiry into whether aides and civil servants had broken the law with their cheese and wine bash.
Earlier Mr Johnson told MPs he was furious about leaked footage showing aides laughing and discussing the 2020 soiree on December 18 when London was under Tier 3 measures.
Ms Stratton, 41, was filmed taking part in a mock press conference in preparation for televised briefings when she joked about the event.
‘ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE’
But yesterday in a tearful statement, she offered her “profound apologies” and said she will “regret those remarks for the rest of my days”.
Mr Johnson has been dogged for a week by questions over staff breaking lockdown rules, but he has repeatedly insisted he had been assured no rules were broken.
Yet after the bombshell video leak, he finally admitted he had based his position on assurances from “respected civil servants and special advisers”.
Mr Johnson then asked Cabinet Secretary Simon Case “to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible”.
The PM added: “It goes without saying that if those rules were broken, then there will be disciplinary action for all those involved.
“I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures because I was also furious to see that clip.
“I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the PM’s apology “raises more questions than answers” as he had been “caught red-handed”.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said Mr Johnson should quit if he is found to have misled Parliament.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?
Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.