The Conservative Party leader will be under the spotlight at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday afternoon, after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called on Mr Johnson to “come clean and apologise” if the allegations, which are alleged to have taken place on December 18 last year, are true.
We will be bringing you live updates, including PMQs, below.
First person to get Covid jab urges everyone to get vaccinated
Margaret Keenan, who a year ago became the first person to have a Covid-19 jab, has urged people to get a vaccination.
The 91-year-old said: “The best Christmas present I could have is being in good health and having had the jab and feeling free from this horrible virus.”
The grandmother, who has also had her booster and flu jabs, described being a global name as “wonderful”.
Ms Keenan was received the first approved vaccination in at University Hospital in Coventry on 8 December, 2020.
Attorney General has been seen arriving at No 10
The Attorney General, who is responsible for providing legal advice to the Government, has been seen arriving at Downing Street.
Lockdowns to deal with Omicron cannot be ruled out – Neil Ferguson
Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London and a member of Sage, whose data was instrumental to the UK going into lockdown in March 2020, said the variant was concerning but it was still unclear what its impact will be on severe disease.
He suggested people may be told to work from home in the near future as Omicron is spreading fast, with the variant set to take over from the Delta strain before Christmas.
Speaking in a personal capacity, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Certainly case numbers of Omicron are doubling at least every three days, maybe even every two days at the moment.
“So it’s accelerating very fast and put that in context, it’s the same if not faster than we saw with the original strain of the virus in March of last year. So it is a concern.
“It’s likely to overtake Delta before Christmas at this rate, precisely when is hard to say.”
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Boris Johnson to face MPs’ questions later
Boris Johnson will appear at Prime Minister’s Questions at 12.00pm on Wednesday, during which he is expected to face a grilling over the alleged gathering.
Join us live from 11.30am for full coverage.
‘I wasn’t invited’ says former Health Secretary Matt Hancock about alleged No 10 Christmas party
Matt Hancock has said “I wasn’t invited” to the alleged Downing Street Christmas party.
The former Health Secretary told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he had no knowledge of what may or may not have happened at the event, said to have taken place on December 18 last year.
Downing Street has categorically denied any event took place last year, when social mixing was banned in the capital.
“I don’t know anything about the party,” he said.
“I’ve read the papers. But I don’t know anything else about it. I wasn’t invited. I wasn’t there.”
On whether he had messaged anyone in Downing Street about the allegations, Mr Hancock said: “No, because I only found out about it late last night and then I got up pretty early this morning.”
He added: “What I know is that the Prime Minister said that no rules were broken. And nobody’s suggesting that he was at this party.”
David Lammy: No 10 needs to ‘come clean’ to British public about alleged Christmas party
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has called on the Prime Minister to “come clean” with the British public about an alleged Christmas party in No 10, which would, if it did take place, may have broken Covid rules.
Mr Lammy made the comments after footage was obtained by ITV News showing the Prime Minister’s then-press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, joking about a “fictional” Downing Street party in December 2020.
He said: “He’s got to come clean with the British public.
“It really is quite unacceptable that this is seen as something that is sort of humorous, or something that isn’t serious, or something that suggests that there can be one rule for a prime minister and those in No 10 and another rule for the British public.”
Allegations of Christmas party ‘blow to morale’ while hospitlisations increasing – NHS Confederation
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents NHS trusts, has said the news of the Downing Street Christmas party was a “blow to morale” among those working in the NHS.
He said: “In any difficult situation we all need to feel that we’re pulling together, that we’re a part of an effort and if it feels as though people have not been playing by the rules, if it feels as though powerful people are not playing by the rules, then there is a blow to morale, it does make it harder to get people to follow the advice.
“So no, it really isn’t what we need at the moment.”
He also told BBC Radio 4 that there are signs hospital admissions for Covid-19 were increasing, saying: “The overwhelming majority of NHS leaders say that the situation is extremely difficult.
“I think we’re facing the hardest winter the NHS has ever had to face, and the care system as well.
Another minister pulls out of interviews following leaked footage of aides appearing to joke about Christmas party
As well as Health Secretary Sajid Javid pulling out of national interviews in the wake of the Downing Street party video, vaccines minister Maggie Throup is understood to have pulled out of a planned round of regional television interviews.
Alleged No 10 Christmas party ‘bullet to the chest’ for bereaved families
Dr Saleyha Ahsan, from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said the leaked footage showing aides appearing to joke about a festive gathering was “an example of how the Government have run this from the start: One rule for them and the rest of us have to adhere to different rules.”
Dr Ahsan, who said she had been working in north Wales at the time of the mock press conference, said: “Numerous people around the country couldn’t spend those precious last few days, hours, minutes with loved ones. It was heartbreaking. In 14 years in the NHS I’ve never seen anything like it.
“And this latest revelation is just a bullet to the chest, it really is.
“It just demonstrates the lack of regard for the rest of us.”
Dr Ahsan said the saga showed why an independent inquiry into the handling of the pandemic was needed “now”.