‘Boris Johnson is toast’: Tory fury grows over Partygate as a DOZEN MPs issue public criticism of PM

Tory backlash was growing towards Boris Johnson over Partygate last night as a dozen MPs issued public criticism of the Prime Minister and slammed Downing Street ‘prats’.

Tory MP Nigel Mills, who backed Johnson during the Tory leadership contest, expressed his confusion over how ‘so many stupid things could have happened’.

And Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough since 2005, said anyone who partied in No10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral ‘needs to be sacked’.

Lee Anderson, a new Red Wall MP for Ashfield, even created a poll on Facebook asking voters if Johnson should stay as Prime Minister.

Amid the party’s internal fallout, one ex-minister warned that Johnson is ‘toast’, while another said the crisis now feels ‘terminal’.

One senior backbencher revealed they had received more than 200 angry emails from infuriated constituents over the parties, alongside only five supporting the PM.

It follows five Tory MPs calling for the embattled premier to step down over his handling of the lockdown party scandal.

Andrew Bridgen submitted a letter of no-confidence in Johnson, joining Douglas Ross, Sir Roger Gale, William Wragg and Caroline Nokes in urging him to quit.

It is understood that up to 30 letters of no-confidence have been submitted to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs. If more than 15 per cent of the party’s MPs submit letters, there has to be a vote on the leadership.

The growing Tory backlash over Johnson’s handling of the Partygate scandal comes as:

Tory backlash was growing towards Boris Johnson (pictured on January 12) over Partygate last night as a dozen MPs issued public criticism of the Prime Minister. It follows five Tory MPs calling for the embattled premier to step down

Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough since 2005, said anyone who partied in No10 on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral 'needs to be sacked'

Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough since 2005, said anyone who partied in No10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral ‘needs to be sacked’

Tory MP Nigel Mills, who backed Johnson during the Tory leadership contest, expressed his confusion over how 'so many stupid things could have happened'.

Tory MP Nigel Mills, who backed Johnson during the Tory leadership contest, expressed his confusion over how ‘so many stupid things could have happened’.

Nigel Mills, MP for Amber Valley, told The Times: ‘These people are meant to be the brightest and the best running the country. It’s hard to conceive how so many stupid things could have happened.’

Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, said: ‘If there were people in Downing Street prior to the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral partying, well they’re prats and need to be sacked.’

Julian Knight, MP for Solihull, said he is ‘very open minded’ about the idea of Johnson resigning.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, added: ‘I say to the prime minister, “Lead, or get out of the way and step aside”.’ 

Danny Kruger, Mr Johnson’s former political secretary turned MP for Devizes, accused the PM of a ‘callous disregard for the personal sacrifices that families were making’.

Former cabinet member Karen Bradley said she shares the outrage with her dismayed constituents about the revelations. 

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, added: 'I say to the prime minister, "Lead, or get out of the way and step aside"'

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, added: ‘I say to the prime minister, “Lead, or get out of the way and step aside”‘

Julian Knight, Conservative MP for Solihull since 2015, said he is 'very open minded' about the idea of Johnson resigning

Julian Knight, Conservative MP for Solihull since 2015, said he is ‘very open minded’ about the idea of Johnson resigning

Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen submitted a letter of no-confidence in Johnson, joining Douglas Ross, Sir Roger Gale, William Wragg and Caroline Nokes in urging him to quit

Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen submitted a letter of no-confidence in Johnson, joining Douglas Ross, Sir Roger Gale, William Wragg and Caroline Nokes in urging him to quit

Downing Street’s pandemic parties 

May 15, 2020: THE GARDEN PARTY 

 A leaked photo showed Boris and Carrie Johnson with 17 senior Downing Street staff, sitting around cheese and wine. This took place during the first Covid lockdown at a time when only two people from different households could mix outdoors, socially distanced

May 20, 2020: BYOB BASH

  A bombshell email from Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, invited more than 100 staff to No10’s lavish gardens on May 20 to ‘make the most of the lovely weather’. He told guests to bring their own alcohol

November 13, 2020: LEE CAIN’S LEAVING DO 

The PM allegedly made a leaving speech for his director of communications Lee Cain with a number of people gathered. The party is believed to have carried on upstairs that evening after Dominic Cummings unceremoniously walked out of Downing Street carrying a cardboard box.  

November 27, 2020: CLEO WATSON’S LEAVING DO 

Mr Johnson reportedly gives a speech at a packed leaving do for a ‘senior aide’. ’40 or 50 people’ were present. The aide was named as one newspaper as Cleo Watson, Dominic Cummings’ protégé.  

December 15, 2020: CHRISTMAS QUIZ

Pictures obtained by the Sunday Mirror show Mr Johnson on a TV screen flanked by colleagues, one draped in tinsel and another wearing a Santa hat, in the No10 library. A source claimed many staff were huddled by computers in their Downing Street offices, conferring on questions and drinking alcohol while the quiz was taking place. The Mirror said a message sent by No10’s head of HR on the night of the quiz advised that those who had stayed behind to take part ‘go out the back’ when they left. The paper also unearthed the team names used that night, including ‘Professor Quiz Whitty’, ‘Rebels without a Claus’, and ‘Hands, Face, First Place’.  

December 17, 2020: Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, charged with probing Partygate, hosted a party after sending an email out to around 15 people in his Private Office titled ‘Christmas Quiz’.

December 18, 2020: ANOTHER CHRISTMAS PARTY Downing Street staffers allegedly hold their own festive party, with the PM not in attendance. Group size is also given as 40 to 50. 

April 16, 2021: JAMES SLACK’S LEAVING DO 

Advisers and civil servants drank alcohol and danced in No10’s basement and gardens to mark the departure of Boris Johnson’s press chief James Slack and one of the Prime Minister’s personal photographers. Witnesses claimed 30 people attended the two gatherings, which were held in different parts of the Downing Street complex before combining in the garden, on the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.

May 26, 2021: A second, formal leaving event is held for James Slack inside No 10. More than a dozen allegedly attended.  

Meanwhile, one MP told the BBC: ‘Many colleagues now believe Boris won’t be leader at next general election… for many of us this feels terminal.’

And a former minister added: ‘Johnson is toast… if you were the chief whip looking at him you’d say he’s not fit to do any other jobs in government, you wouldn’t make him a junior minister, he doesn’t work hard enough.’

A Midlands Tory MP simply said: ‘The inbox is bad, really bad.’ 

The comments come amid claims that Downing Street held ‘wine-time Fridays’ every week throughout the pandemic which Johnson attended.

Staff even invested in a £142 drinks fridge to keep their beer, prosecco and wine cold, with the PM urging aides to ‘let off steam’ at a time when Britons were banned from socialising indoors, sources told The Mirror.

Employees also took turns to stock up on drinks at the local Tesco Metro with a wheely suitcase to fill up the 34-bottle fridge which was delivered through the back door of Downing Street on December 11, 2020, extraordinary pictures have revealed.

At the time, households were not allowed to mix indoors or in most outdoor places with exemptions for people in support bubbles, and a maximum of six people were allowed to meet in some outdoor public spaces like parks and public gardens. 

Despite the harsh rules, Downing Street scheduled ‘wine-time Fridays’ into the electronic calendars of 50 No 10 staff every week between 4pm and 7pm.

The end-of-week drinks are part of a long-standing tradition in government but they reportedly continued while the rest of the country were mostly confined to their homes.

They were organised by the No 10 press office but advisors from other departments would often join in, it has been claimed.

It is just the latest in a series of damning revelations about the alleged culture of drinking and partying throughout the pandemic at Downing Street amid growing calls for Johnson to resign, some from within his own party.

It was revealed on Thursday that a leaving do was held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, prompting Johnson to order No 10 to apologise to the Queen.

Sue Gray, the senior civil servant investigating the litany of claims, is said to have been ‘completely blindsided’ by the latest revelations, The Times reported. 

Meanwhile cabinet ministers who publicly backed their leader this week said it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify their support, with one saying: ‘This is the last chance saloon. More revelations of parties, and a pummelling at the local elections, and the party will rise up.’ 

A dozen Tory MPs have now criticised the prime minister publicly, while another in a red wall constituency ran a Facebook poll asking if he should go and a senior party activist said he wished to ‘never hear of him again’.

Regardless, it appears voters have made up their minds, with seven out of ten believing Mr Johnson has not been telling the truth about his involvement in the BYOB garden party while 63 per cent said he should resign, a poll has revealed.

Eight in ten also believe the event was illegal according to the PM’s own Covid legislation. 

Kate Josephs, who was a director general in the unit that coordinated the government Covid response and is now chief executive at Sheffield City Council, said she was ‘truly sorry’ for a gathering held in the Cabinet Office to mark her leaving the civil service on December 17, 2020.

Downing Street staff allegedly boozed ‘excessively’ at two leaving parties the night before the Queen was forced to grieve alone her own at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Covid-secure funeral last year

Downing Street staff allegedly boozed ‘excessively’ at two leaving parties the night before the Queen was forced to grieve alone her own at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Covid-secure funeral last year

It is understood that up to 30 letters of no-confidence have been submitted to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs. Pictured: an image of an alleged lockdown-busting party in No10 on May 15, 2020

It is understood that up to 30 letters of no-confidence have been submitted to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs. Pictured: an image of an alleged lockdown-busting party in No10 on May 15, 2020

A YouGov poll for the Times has laid bare the scale of the damage being suffered by the government, showing the Tories slumping five points to just 28 per cent in less than a week

A YouGov poll for the Times has laid bare the scale of the damage being suffered by the government, showing the Tories slumping five points to just 28 per cent in less than a week

Ms Josephs said she and colleagues who had been working assembled for drinks in the evening. Dozens of staff are reported to have attended – even though London was in Tier 3 lockdown at the time and the rules prohibited households socialising indoors.

Earlier, the PM’s spokesman admitted an apology had been made to Buckingham Palace over ‘regrettable’ behaviour in Downing Street on April 16 last year – when two other leaving dos took place, including for departing director of communications James Slack. The lockdown rules at that point banned indoor social mixing. 

However, it is understood an official made the grovelling call, and aides refused to say whether Mr Johnson – who was not at the booze-fuelled event – will be speaking to the monarch personally about the issue. 

All three leaving events have now been referred to Sue Gray’s investigation, which is not expected to report before the end of next week. 

On your way to No10, Rishi? Chancellor Sunak breaks cover after lukewarm backing for Boris Johnson over Partygate as bookmakers make him favourite to succeed him as Prime Minister 

Rishi in Downing Street

Rishi in Downing Street

Rishi Sunak broke cover in Downing Street today, hours after giving his boss Boris Johnson only lukewarm support in the wake of his partygate humiliation.

Rishi Sunak broke cover in Downing Street today, hours after giving his boss Boris Johnson only lukewarm support in the wake of his partygate humiliation.

The Chancellor was more than 200 miles rom Westminster as the Prime Minister apologised for attending a drinks event in his back garden while they were banned in May 2020.

And while other ministers went public with their support for the PM after his 3pm Commons appearance, the bookies favourite to succeed him left it until after 8pm to offer any sort of endorsement. 

More than 20 ministers including Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Communities Secretary Michael Gove were despatched to the airwaves and social media to publicly support the PM after his statement to the Commons failed to quell anger among Tory backbenchers.  

But the Chancellor spent the day in Ilfracombe, north Devon, before taking to Twitter late on Wednesday to say that Mr Johnson was ‘right to apologise’ over the lockdown party scandal and call for ‘patience’ while Whitehall ethics chief Sue Gray conducted an inquiry into the affair.

Mr Johnson told the Commons he thought the bring-your-own-booze party in the No 10 garden in May 2020 was a ‘work event’. 

Mr Sunak’s comments were in contrast to those posted by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, another minister said to have eyes on the top job, although she took longer than other ministers to row in behind the PM.

She wrote: ‘The PM is delivering for Britain – from Brexit to the booster programme to economic growth. I stand behind the Prime Minister 100 per cent as he takes our country forward.’

One Cabinet minister today told the Times the two were engaged in ‘obvious game playing’, adding: ‘Rishi and Liz have overplayed their hands. They have lost the subtlety plot.’

Ladbrokes today cut their odds on Mr Sunak becoming the next PM to 7/4 favourite, with Liz Truss at 4/1.

Mr Sunak raised eyebrows yesterday by continuing with an engagement in Devon while Mr Johnson endured a bruising session of Prime Minister’s Questions. Miss Truss sat alongside Mr Johnson in the Commons.

One senior Conservative said the Chancellor had ‘done himself a lot of damage’ by trying to distance himself from the row while others pitched in to help. But other MPs stepped up pressure on the PM after he admitted spending 25 minutes at a boozy staff party in the No10 garden on May 20, 2020.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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