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Boris Johnson news - live: Fresh Partygate fines ‘issued’ as PM warned no-confidence vote ‘inevitable’

Polling expert says party MPs will have say within months

Boris Johnson claims people are more interested in India trade deal than Partygate

At least two Downing Street staffers have received police fines for attending a ‘bring your own booze’ event on 20 May, 2020, sources told The Independent.

This is the second event that Boris Johnson is known to have attended at which revellers have been given fixed penalty notices.

It comes as senior Conservatives have warned the prime minister that a no-confidence vote on him is now inevitable over the Partygate scandal, with one warning the mood had “turned against him”.

Tory peer Lord Hayward, the party’s influential polling expert, predicted a vote within months, and former defence minister Tobias Ellwood said a ballot on Boris Johnson’s future was a matter of “when not if”.

Polling guru Sir John Curtice says Partygate is set to be a major problem for the Tories at the May local elections, after MPs voted for the Privileges Committee to investigate whether the prime minister misled Parliament.


Russia still ‘suffering from losses sustained earlier in conflict’, says MoD update

In an intelligence update on the war in Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a written statement on Friday morning: “Putin’s decision to blockade the Azovstal steel plant likely indicates a desire to contain Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol and free up Russian forces to be deployed elsewhere in eastern Ukraine.

“A full ground assault by Russia on the plant would likely incur significant Russian casualties, further decreasing their overall combat effectiveness.

“In the eastern Donbas, heavy shelling and fighting continues as Russia seeks to advance further towards settlements including Krasnyy Lyman, Buhayikva, Barvinkove, Lyman and Popasna as part of their plans for the region.

“Despite Russia’s renewed focus they are still suffering from losses sustained earlier in the conflict. In order to try and reconstitute their depleted forces, they have resorted to transiting inoperable equipment back to Russia for repair.”

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 07:14

Boris Johnson’s ‘mask has well and truly slipped’, says Rayner

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner this morning said Boris Johnson’s “distortions and distractions can now be seen for what they are.”

Tweeting alongside a Sky News clip which shows the prime minister attempting to divert questioning from Partygate to his trip in India, Ms Rayner said: “The bluster failed. His distortions and distractions can now be seen for what they are.

“The sunlight of scrutiny is unforgiving. Now the mask has well and truly slipped.”

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 07:41

PM will face no confidence vote by summer, senior Tory says

Boris Johnson may find himself in the jaws of a vote of no confidence within the next three months, a senior Conservative who called for his resignation has warned.

Earlier this week, former minister Mark Harper called for the prime minisrer to step down over his conduct during the Partygate scandal – saying Mr Johnson was “no longer worthy” of the office.

Speaking to The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics podcast this morning, the former cheif whip said that he anticipates the number of letters submitted to the 1922 Committee to go above the amount required to trigger a vote before July.

He said: “Colleagues have got to decide they want to go into the election, with Boris Johnson leading the Conservative Party.

“If they do, they can just sit on their hands. But if they don’t, they’ve got to send a letter to Sir Graham Brady. And if there’s a vote of confidence, they’ve got to be prepared to vote against it.”

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 08:10

Boris Johnson will face no-confidence vote by July, says senior Tory MP

Boris Johnson is likely to face a no-confidence vote within three months over the Partygate scandal, according to a senior Conservative MP opposed to his leadership.

Mark Harper – who has sent a letter of no-confidence letter to the Tory backbenchers’ 1922 Committee – said he expected 54 letters needed to trigger a vote to be submitted before parliament’s summer recess in July.

“I think my colleagues will have enough evidence to make a decision,” the ex-chief whip told The Telegraph podcast. We can resolve this matter then, and later we can give the country the fresh leadership it deserves.”

More from Adam Forrest here:

Boris Johnson will face no-confidence vote by July, says senior Tory MP

Former chief whip Mark Harper ‘very confident’ photos of parties will trigger more no-confidence letters

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 08:14

No-confidence vote matter of ‘when not if’, says Tobias Ellwood

Senior Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who has also called on Boris Johnson to quit, said a growing number of backbenchers were “troubled” by his leadership.

“It’s now when, not if, a vote of confidence takes place,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The chair of the defence select committee said the ongoing Partygate saga is “causing long term damage to the party’s brand”.

Mr Ellwood also tweeted that Tory MPs should “stop drinking the Kool Aid”.

Adam Forrest22 April 2022 08:25

Watch live as Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi give a joint statement in New Delhi

Watch live as Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi give a joint statement in New Delhi
Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 08:32

‘No question’ of PM standing down over the Partygate row, Tory minister insists

It appears Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns has been called up to take on this morning’s media rounds as disquiet grows among Tory backbenchers over Boris Johnson’s premiership.

Speaking to Sky News this morning, Mr Burns insisted there was “no question” of the PM standing down over the Partygate row.

He said Mr Johnson was confident that he would be cleared once the full facts were made public.

“He remains confident that when people can see the full context of what happened it will be clear that he was straightforward, he said to the House in good faith that he believed the rules were followed.

“He is looking forward to this ending. He is looking forward to drawing this to a conclusion, for it to be examined fully so that we can move on to the things people are genuinely concerned about.”

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 08:35

Authority of PM and his government ‘draining away’, says senior Labour MP

In the wake of Conor Burns’ expression of support for the PM’s continuing leadership, shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle said the authority of Boris Johnson is “draining away” as he is losing support from within the Conservatives.

Mr Burns told Sky News: “If they had the numbers they would have defeated the motion yesterday.

“They actually put forward a wrecking amendment on the day to try and scupper the whole thing, and yet they couldn’t even with a majority of 80 get that through, so they pulled it out last minute.


“That means there isn’t even enough Tory MPs who believe that Boris Johnson is truthful to actually get them to walk through the lobby to say so.

“You could feel, yesterday, the authority of Boris Johnson and his government draining away.

“And conversely, when you see the three performances this week of Keir Starmer, and the three performances of Boris Johnson, I think it’s quite clear who is making the running, who is leading right now, and who is leading a party which is unified, and has ideas beyond partygate, about how to tackle the challenges in the economy, in public services, and how to tackle crime.”

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 08:45

‘Untrustworthy and incompetent’ PM is damaging running of country, says Labour

In a second instalment of his appearence on Sky News this morning, Labour’s Peter Kyle said Boris Johnson’s “character flaws” are damaging the way the country is being run.

The shadow Northern Ireland secretary said: “This (partygate) fundamentally speaks to his character flaws as a leader: he lies, he is untrustworthy and he is incompetent.

“Those same character flaws are the same reason why we have a low-growth economy and a high-tax economy, we have crime at the record levels it is now, and we have seven million people waiting for NHS treatment.

“It’s all down to his character flaws, exposed by partygate.”

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 08:55

Pulling out of NI protocol ‘absolutely astonishing and incredibly damaging’ - Labour

Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary has called reports that the government is preparing to legislate to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol “absolutely astonishing and incredibly damaging.”

The shadow Northern Ireland secretary told Sky News: “Boris Johnson negotiated, his team drafted the Northern Ireland Protocol; they presented it to the EU, they negotiated it into the deal.

“It doesn’t work as well as it can do, that’s why the Labour policy is, you build on it - we can improve the protocol, we can smooth it, and we can do so without breaking the law and breaking our international treaty we signed with the EU.

“If we just recklessly pull out of it unilaterally, how will any other country in the world sign a deal with us and think that we will honour it?

“How will Prime Minister Modi react today when Boris Johnson asks for a trade deal if he is pulling out unilaterally of the last trade deal he signed?”

Emily Atkinson22 April 2022 09:05

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