Boris Johnson ‘in quite a lot of trouble’ says John Curtice
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At the end of November, a dozen Tory MPs filed letters of no confidence against Boris Johnson amid growing fury over the Owen Paterson scandal. Now, footage has emerged showing Mr Johnson’s then-press secretary Allegra Stratton laughing about a Christmas party at Downing Street not being socially distanced, at a time when Britons were told not to visit their loved ones dying in hospital.
A senior Conservative told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg the Owen Paterson affair showed the Prime Minister “didn’t think the rules applied to his friends”, adding: “This video demonstrates that’s widely shared in No 10 by senior political advisers.
“People prevented by the Government from seeing loved ones at end of their life will conclude they were taken for fools.”
The latest scandal hit on the same day Mr Johnson announced new Plan B Covid restrictions, which will come into force next week.
At the Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced working from home, facemasks in all indoor venues, and vaccine passports at larger venues will be required.
The new measures have disgruntled backbenchers and sparked speculation of a Tory rebellion.
Tory MP for Wokingham John Redwood said: “I expect a record number of Conservative MPs to vote against these latest restrictions. Many more this time round do not think a good case has been made.”
Today, tensions over Boris Johnson’s leadership appear to have come to a head.
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Speaking to Newscast, BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg said: “There are absolutely conversations about what life after Boris Johnson might look like.
“A very experienced MP said to me, ‘Look stage 1 of the leadership transition is where everybody agrees that the Prime Minister might be running out of the road is complete.’
“We’re at stage 2 where we talk about who, how, and when.”
According to the Conservative Home league tables, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been the most satisfactory member of the Cabinet for a staggering 12 months.
Ranked by Conservative Party members, Ms Truss has a score of 82.3 based on her performance in November, in comparison, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a score of -17.2.
He tallies up as the second least satisfactory member of the cabinet, beaten only by Chief Whip Mark Spencer.
Ms Truss has continuously achieved a satisfaction score between 82.8 and 89.8 since December 2020. But since June, Boris Johnson has consistently scored below 20 points.
Rishi Sunak – often seen as Liz Truss’s main contender for future leadership – has dropped in popularity after slamming Britons with some of the steepest tax rises in history.
The Chancellor was flanking Ms Truss in second position in the Conservative Home league tables up until September when Mr Sunak hiked National Insurance by 1.25 percent and expanded the tax to hit working and earning pensioners.
In the same month, Mr Sunak went back on a Conservative manifesto pledge and scrapped the triple lock.
As a result, many older Tory voters felt betrayed and Mr Sunak’s support has weakened, with many accusing him of not being Conservative enough – an allegation that he has rebuked.
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However, Mr Sunak’s supporters applaud him for facilitating the UK’s economic recovery from Covid – one of the fastest of any major economy in the world.
Mr Sunak’s net worth is estimated at £200million, and he is married to the daughter of the sixth richest man in India, who is estimated to be worth trillions.
Akshata Murthy, Mr Sunak’s wife, already holds shares in her father’s company of £430million, which is more than the Queen’s net worth (£350million).
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