Good morning. Boris Johnson’s place as Conservative get together chief and prime minister is extra perilous than ever earlier than however, after a wretched and humiliating day – which additionally noticed open warfare get away between the party in Scotland and the UK national leadership – his future is unclear, as a result of the parliamentary get together collectively remains to be making up its thoughts about what to do subsequent.

We had been as a result of hear from him this morning, as a result of he had a go to deliberate in Lancashire. However that has been cancelled “as a result of a member of the family testing constructive for coronavirus”, Downing Road says. A No 10 spokesperson mentioned:

The prime minister will now not be visiting Lancashire in the present day as a result of a member of the family testing constructive for coronavirus. He’ll observe the steerage for vaccinated shut contacts, together with day by day testing and limiting contact with others.

Most Tory MPs who’ve commented on Johnson’s management say they wish to wait till they learn the findings of Sue Grey’s report into all of the partygate allegations. However Grey is a senior civil servant, which signifies that she most likely takes the view that in the end whether or not or not the PM stays is a political judgment that should be taken by politicians (his colleagues). Final evening Nick Macpherson, former everlasting secretary on the Treasury, posted this on Twitter.

Nick Macpherson

Will not the report simply set out the info in Sue Grey’s inimitable type? As we noticed in the present day, it is open to the PM to interpret the info. And so the report will not be a smoking gun, although it may trigger an additional downwards lurch in Home of Commons’ confidence. #minesarosé

January 12, 2022

The Grey report could come subsequent week, but when Macpherson and others are proper, it received’t clearly settle the problem of whether or not or not the PM ought to go.

Though many Tory MPs are privately saying that Johnson’s place is untenable, however there’s little proof that they’re working actively to eliminate him. Final evening Kitty Donaldson, Bloomberg’s political editor, mentioned she thought solely 4 of them have written letters to the 1922 Commitee chairman asking for a confidence vote.

Kitty Donaldson

For something to maneuver 54 Tory MPs must ship letters of no confidence to the chair of the Tory backbench 1922 committee. My soundings put that on about 4 proper now.

January 12, 2022

And to this point solely 4 Tory MPs (Sir Roger Gale, Douglas Ross, William Wragg and Caroline Nokes) have referred to as for Johnson’s resignation. The Spectator is keeping a tally.

MPs will making a judgment in regards to the impression Johnson’s management could have on their probabilities of re-election, and this morning a brand new YouGov ballot provides Labour its greatest lead over the Conservatives for eight years.

Henry Zeffman

EXCLUSIVE Occasions/YouGov ballot provides Labour their greatest lead since Dec 2013

Lab 38 (+1)
Con 28 (-5)
LDem 13 (+3)
Inexperienced 7 (+1)
RefUK 4 (-1)https://t.co/DBwJsnyqIA

January 12, 2022

However even polling figures like this received’t essentially settle the problem for the parliamentary get together. MPs will keep in mind who received the overall election following December 2013, and there’s no consensus over who would succeed Johnson if there have been a contest, and whether or not they would undoubtedly do significantly better.

So the get together appears caught in the mean time. However that doesn’t make Johnson’s place protected and his difficulties had been illustrated this morning when the cupboard minister doing interviews this morning didn’t deny experiences that privately Johnson has been telling colleagues he has achieved nothing flawed.

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, picked this up yesterday.

Laura Kuenssberg

One other Tory MP informed me that within the tearoom the PM informed him and colleagues ‘it isn’t his fault and he is bravely taking the blame for others’ – ‘prompted a lot consternation amongst colleagues’ provided that he’d simply given a public apology

January 12, 2022

And a number of other papers report the identical factor in the present day. “MPs had been additionally irritated by the prime minister showing much less contrite in non-public conversations after his Commons look than he had been in public,” the Guardian reports.

The Times (paywall) experiences the identical factor. It says:

Inside minutes of delivering a “heartfelt” apology to the Commons for attending a drinks occasion within the backyard of No 10 through the first lockdown, Boris Johnson had a considerably completely different message for Tory MPs within the tearoom.

The prime minister was, in line with these current, removed from contrite. He informed colleagues that “we’ve got taken plenty of hits in politics and that is certainly one of them”, including: “Generally we take the credit score for issues we don’t deserve and this time we’re taking hits for one thing we don’t deserve.”

Douglas Ross, the chief of the Scottish Conservatives, mentioned that Johnson took an identical tone when he spoke to him yesterday afternoon. He mentioned that the prime minister informed him that he “believes he didn’t do something flawed”.

And right here is an excerpt from the FT’s story (paywall).

A number of MPs mentioned Johnson was nonetheless in denial. “He mentioned that generally in life you get the credit score for stuff you don’t deserve, whereas generally you get the blame for one thing you don’t deserve, too,” mentioned one Tory MP. “He goes by way of his life considering he doesn’t deserve the blame.”

Requested about these experiences on the Right this moment programme, Brandon Lewis, the Northern Eire secretary, dismissed them as “tittle tattle that will or could not have come out of the [Commons] tea room”. He mentioned he had not heard Johnson himself say that he was to not blame for what occurred, and he mentioned Johnson was “very, very honest” in his apology.

I will probably be focusing totally on the fall-out from this disaster in the present day. Johnson is just not doing his go to, however we are going to get a No 10 foyer briefing, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chief of the Commons, will probably be taking questions within the Commons.

I attempt to monitor the feedback under the road (BTL) however it’s unimaginable to learn all of them. When you’ve got a direct query, do embody “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra more likely to discover it. I do attempt to reply questions, and if they’re of basic curiosity, I’ll publish the query and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you wish to entice my consideration shortly, it’s most likely higher to make use of Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to e mail me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com


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