Labour HOLDS ten-point lead over Tories as Boris Johnson faces continued fury over ‘Partygate’ scandal and poll predicts Keir Starmer’s party will win 41% of the vote – its biggest lead in nearly a decade
- A new poll has placed Labour on 41 per cent with the Tories on 31 per cent
- It is the biggest lead Labour has held over the Tories since 2013
- Three quarters of voters believe Boris Johnson broke lockdown rules
Labour has held its biggest lead over the Conservatives since 2013 as the Partygate scandal continues to damage Boris Johnson’s popularity among voters.
The prime minister’s personal rating has plummeted to its lowest level yet, the same as Theresa May’s at the lowest ebb of her reign.
Johnson’s core Brexit supporters are also starting to abandon him in the wake of the series of damaging revelations about the alleged partying and drinking culture at Downing Street throughout the pandemic,.
Of the Leave voters who backed him in 2019, 46 per cent say he should resign, in a signal of his dwindling support.
The Opinium poll carried out by The Observer puts Labour on 41 per cent, the Conservatives on 31 per cent, the Lib Dems on nine per cent and Greens on six per cent.
Labour has held its biggest lead over the Conservatives since 2013 as the Partygate scandal continues to damage Boris Johnson’s popularity among voters
The prime minister’s personal rating has plummeted to its lowest level yet, the same as Theresa May’s at the lowest ebb of her reign
The survey also revealed that 78 per cent of the electorate believe government staff broke lockdown rules to host parties, while only eight per cent say officials abode the harsh measures.
Three quarters of voters believe the prime minister himself broke the rules, while 64 per cent say he is not telling the truth about the scandal.
The online poll of 2,005 people was conducted between January 12 and 14.
Earlier this week, a YouGov poll for the Times placed the Tories on 28 per cent, with Labour on 38 per cent.
More than a dozen MPs have issued public criticism of the PM, while backbenchers have branded Downing Street staff ‘prats’ and told how they have been inundated with angry emails from constituents calling for him to resign.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer repeated Mr Bridgen’s assertion that the Prime Minister had lost his moral authority, and called for the Tory party to topple him
Former minister Tim Loughton became the latest Conservative MP to join in the calls for Johnson to resign.
The East Worthing and Shoreham MP, in a post on Facebook, said: ‘I have regretfully come to the conclusion that Boris Johnson’s position is now untenable, that his resignation is the only way to bring this whole unfortunate episode to an end and I am working with colleagues to impress that view on Number 10.
‘I am deeply sorry for the great hurt that has been caused to many people who have made substantial sacrifices during lockdown, ultimately in some cases not being able to share precious final moments with loved ones.
‘Whatever our view on how disproportionate or impractical some of the lockdown measures may have been, it is entirely appropriate that we should all expect everyone to follow the rules equally, not least those responsible for implementing them.’
Mr Loughton said he had come to his conclusion following some ‘lively conversations’ with constituents on Saturday, adding: ‘Frankly the issue for me is not how many sausage rolls or glasses of prosecco the Prime Minister actually consumed. The reason for my conclusion in calling for him to stand down is the way that he has handled the mounting revelations in the last few weeks.
Peter Bone (pictured left), the MP for Wellingborough since 2005, said anyone who partied in No10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral ‘needs to be sacked’, while Nigel Mills (right), who backed Johnson during the Tory leadership contest, expressed his confusion over how ‘so many stupid things could have happened’
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 34-bottle drinks fridge (pictured right), which was delivered by a courier (left) through the back door of Downing Street on December 11, 2020, while indoor socialising was banned
‘Obfuscation, prevarication and evasion have been the order of the day when clarity, honesty and contrition was what was needed and what the British people deserve.’
The growing fury comes amid claims that Downing Street held ‘wine-time Fridays’ every week throughout the pandemic which Johnson attended, urging aides to ‘let off steam’ at a time when Britons were banned from socialising indoors, sources told The Mirror.
Staff even invested in a 34-bottle drinks fridge which was delivered through the back door of Downing Street on December 11, 2020, to keep their beer, prosecco and wine cold, and took a wheely suitcase to the local Tesco Metro to stock it up, extraordinary pictures revealed.
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 as growing calls are made for Johnson to resign, some from within his own party.
On Thursday it was revealed 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.
Tory MP Nigel Mills, who backed the PM 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 ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’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.
The latest comments follow 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.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer repeated Mr Bridgen’s assertion that the Prime Minister had lost his moral authority, and called for the Tory party to topple him.
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.
Keir Starmer says it’s in the ‘national interest’ for Boris Johnson to resign
Boris Johnson has ‘lost the moral authority’ to lead the country and it is in the ‘national interest’ for him to resign, Sir Keir Starmer claimed on Saturday.
In a speech at the Fabian Society think tank in London, the Labour leader accused the embattled PM of going into hiding amid the ongoing Partygate scandal, telling Tory MPs to ‘do what they need to do’ to oust him.
Mr Johnson is not expected to be seen until next week after announcing he was ‘limiting contact’ after a family member tested positive for Covid.
While fielding questions following his speech today, Sir Keir said: ‘What we’ve now got to is a situation where you have a Prime Minister who has lost the moral authority to lead.
‘And just when you need – because we are not out of the pandemic – a Government that has that moral authority to lead, we’ve lost it with this Prime Minister.’
He added: ‘The moral authority matters of course in relation to Covid, but we’ve got other massive challenges facing this country.
‘We’ve got a Prime Minister who is absent – he is literally in hiding at the moment and unable to lead, so that’s why I’ve concluded that he has got to go.
‘And of course there is a party vantage in him going but actually it is now in the national interest that he goes, so it is very important now that the Tory Party does what it needs to do and gets rid of him.’
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