Boris Johnson LIVE: PM holds crisis meetings with rebel MPs as he enters 'kill-zone'

The Prime Minister has privately pleaded with at least 30 potential rebels while allies have set up a 100-strong “save Boris” WhatsApp group, the Telegraph reports. He met with the potential rebels in his parliamentary office, where he privately asked MPs to explain their concerns in the hope he could convince them to keep supporting him. Mr Johnson has refused to resign over the latest allegations of parties in Downing Street during lockdown, which are being investigated by both civil servant Sue Gray, and the Metropolitan Police. Commenting on the Prime Minister’s shift into survival mode, Sky News political editor Beth Rigby noted: “Now in the kill zone, he’s fighting – hard.”

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Tara Fair

Boris warned of ‘1997-style annihilation’

Boris Johnson has been warned he is leading his party to a ‘1997-style’ annihilation.

Allister Heath, Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, said a “1997-style annihilation” could well be on the cards for the Tories thanks to an “epidemic” of broken promises and carelessness.

The Conservative Party led by John Major, received an electoral drubbing before the turn of the decade, suffering a net loss of 178 parliamentary seats and handing Labour, led by Tony Blair, its largest ever majority.

Following this, Labour held the keys for Number 10 for more than a decade.

Tara Fair

‘It is Brexit’s fault,’ actor blames string of scandals on UK leaving the bloc

Actor and writer David Schneider has pinned the current political situation on Brexit. 

‘The Death of Stalin’ writer took to Twitter to express his frustration, writing: “Brexit is the original sin of this government, the foundational lie.

“Everything – all the corruption, all the lies, all the rule-breaking and law-breaking, the bullying and blackmail – follows inevitably from that. Boris Johnson out.”

Brexit is the original sin of this government, the foundational lie.

Everything – all the corruption, all the lies, all the rule-breaking and law-breaking, the bullying and blackmail – follows inevitably from that.#BorisJohnsonOut

u2014 David Schneider (@davidschneider) January 25, 2022

Tara Fair

Tory support no longer conditional on whether the PM broke rules or lied

Political commentator John Crace has noted a shift from within the Tory party. 

“Curious that for many Tory MPs their support for the PM no longer seems to be conditional on whether he went to parties and lied about it,” he said. 

His comment comes after Tory MP Andrew Rosindell defended the Prime Minister’s rule-breaking by saying: “He has not robbed a bank.” 

Curious that for many Tory MPs their support for the PM no longer seems to be conditional on whether he went to parties and lied about it

u2014 John Crace (@JohnJCrace) January 27, 2022

Tara Fair

Therese Coffey said Government has committed to publishing Gray findings

Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions, told Sky News she does not know when the Sue Gray report will be released but stressed the Government has committed to publishing it. 

“You will probably know quicker than I will do, Kay [Burley],” she says.

“It’s important that be allowed to continue, as the PM said about the police investigation.

“[The Government has] committed to publishing the full findings of the report.”

Tara Fair

‘You did not elect me for ethics’ former Downing Street worker analyses Johnson’s moves

Boris Johnson will not leave his post no matter how bad it gets, according to Nick Hargrave, a former Downing Street employee. 

Mr Hargrave said: “Imminent days are not about electability. Purely the raw exercise of staying in power and living to fight.

“Top-flight politicians are optimists and believe something will turn up.

“Often said that Tory MPs are the most sophisticated electorate in the world. If only it were so.

“In reality, most are risk averse, career minded and swayed by the psychology of the crowd. Btw same true of Labour – look how long Corbyn lasted.

“For all his failings, the Prime Minister knows this and has a keener sense of human frailty then many. Look at his last 2 X pmqs outings.

“They are all about the projection of strength and not giving a toss, mixed with a Johnsonian dollop of humour to diffuse the earnest.

“His subtext is clear. I’m not going anywhere no matter how bad it gets. You didn’t elect me for ethics. So to get me out you’re going to have to take me out.”

His subtext is clear. I’m not going anywhere no matter how bad it gets. You didn’t elect me for ethics. So to get me out you’re going to have to take me out. 5

u2014 Nick Hargrave (@NIHargrave) January 26, 2022

Tara Fair

‘Jacob is talking nonsense,’ former Tory deputy PM

A former Tory deputy PM has accused Jacob Rees-Mogg of “talking nonsense” after suggesting there may need to be a general election if Boris Johnson is forced out. 

The remarks were seen at the time as a veiled warning to Tory MPs with smaller majorities.

Damian Green told ITV: “Jacob, bless him, is talking nonsense.

“We have a system of parliamentary democracy – he’s leader of the House of Commons, he must have noticed that.

“Probably the two most presidential prime ministers we’ve had in my lifetime have been Thatcher and Blair.

“Both of them left in the middle of a parliament and both of their successors went on for the whole term of that parliament.”

Tara Fair

‘PM wants you to get tired of being outraged,’ says Liberal Democrat MP

Tim Farron, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, has accused the Prime Minister of playing for time over the partygate allegations. 

Mr Farron said: “The PM’s strategy is to keep flanneling until you get tired of being outraged at his dishonesty, hypocrisy and mockery of you and your family.

“It might work, who knows? Listen to Richard to remind yourself why it absolutely mustn’t…”

He attaches a Sky News interview with Richard Macvicar, who lost his mother, father and sister to Covid in the space of three weeks in 2020.

The PMu2019s strategy is to keep flanneling until you get tired of being outraged at his dishonesty, hypocrisy and mockery of you and your family. It might work, who knows? Listen to Richard to remind yourself why it absolutely mustnu2019tu2026 https://t.co/iuyaHCrjTv

u2014 Tim Farron (@timfarron) January 27, 2022

Tara Fair

‘Save Boris’ whatsapp group holding 100 MPs

Allies of the Prime Minister have set up a “save Boris” whatsapp group which contains almost 100 MPs. 

A number of Mr Johnson loyalists have begun a “shadow whipping” operation to keep potential rebels in line. 

The “shadow” whipping team is led by Chris Pincher, a levelling up minister, and Conor Burns, a Northern Ireland minister.

It is understood they set up the “save Boris” whatsapp group, which has 98 members, as a support group for wavering MPs. 

Tara Fair

Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Boris Johnson for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: Tara.fair@reachplc.com

Twitter: @TaraFair_

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