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Boris Johnson news – live: Britons ‘less likely to follow rules’ as No 10 lockdown parties dent trust in PM

December 21, 2021

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Boris Johnson says he was ‘at work’ during No 10 garden gathering

A new poll suggests almost 30 per cent of the British public are less likely to follow Covid rules as a result of alleged lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street.

The Savanta survey, conducted for The Independent, also found that the majority of Britons (59 per cent) believe Boris Johnson is a less credible source for coronavirus information than social media.

It comes as trust in the PM is at an all-time low, owing to delayed and evolving Covid measures being enforced across England at the same time as details of multiple parties and gatherings – including a garden event at No 10, which Mr Johnson was pictured at on 15 May 2020 alongside his wife and up to 17 staff – continue to emerge.

Explanations for the most recently surfaced event have so far been confused. Deputy PM Dominic Raab claimed on Monday it was a post-work drinks do, while the PM insisted: “Those were meetings of people at work, talking about work.” In a clear sign people are fed up, chants of “Stand up if you hate Boris” could be heard last night at the World Darts Championship, held at Alexandra Palace in London.

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Rishi Sunak announces £1bn Covid support package

Rishi Sunak has announced £1bn in support for hospitality and leisure businesses in England hit by recent changes to Covid guidance.

Each eligible business, such as a pub or restaurant, will be able to claim £6,000 from the support package.

The chancellor will also make £30m available for the culture recovery fund to help venues such as theatres, art galleries and museums.

And the government will cover the cost of statutory sick pay for firms with fewer than 250 employees.

Liam James21 December 2021 13:14

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Boris Johnson poll: ‘Breaking new records everyday’

Some reaction to the latest YouGov poll on Boris Johnson’s performance as prime minister. With 71 per cent of the British public saying they thought he was doing a bad job, it is the worst feedback Mr Johnson has seen from a YouGov poll since taking power in July 2019.

Many reacting online have focused on the 29 per cent who did not think he was doing badly.

Liam James21 December 2021 12:49

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71% think Boris Johnson doing ‘badly’ as PM

More than two thirds of Britons think Boris Johnson is doing a bad job as prime minister, according to a new YouGov poll.

On the flip side, just 23 per cent of the near 2,000 adults surveyed believe the current Tory leader is doing “well” in his post.

It comes amid growing distrust in the PM due to anger over alleged lockdown-breaching parties and delayed Covid restrictions.

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 12:25

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NYE: Big Ben to have all clock faces on display for first time since works began

A Big Ben update now. The famous clock tower will ‘bong’ on New Year’s Eve and have all its faces on display for the first time in four years.

The bell will be struck 12 times to mark the start of 2022, as a project to restore the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower nears its end.

In the days running up to 3 December the bell will be heard chiming, as engineers test it ahead of the celebrations.

Ian Westworth, one of parliament’s team of clock mechanics who will be making sure Big Ben strikes on NYE, said: “It’s iconic – it’s probably the world’s most famous clock, and to have had our hands on every single nut and bolt is a huge privilege.

“It’s going to be quite emotional when it’s all over – there will be sadness that the project has finished, but happiness that we have got it back and everything’s up and running again.”

The chimes on 31 December will also be the final occasion that Big Ben will be struck using a temporary mechanism.

As the scaffolding has been removed, a view of the clock face’s restored original paint colour Prussian blue has emerged in recent weeks

(PA)

Additional reporting by PA

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 12:00

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Australia trade deal to cause ‘£94m blow to UK farming, fishing and forestry’

Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal with Australia will damage the UK’s agriculture and food sectors by hundreds of millions of pounds, according to the government’s own impact assessment.

British farming, forestry and fishing will suffer a £94m hit from the free trade agreement, a Department for International Trade (DIT) document has revealed. The government also expects a £225m hit to the semi-processed food sector, conceding that it was another area expected to “contract” as a result of increased competition, reports Adam Forrest.

The Liberal Democrats claimed the figures showed that farmers and others were being “sold down the river” by the Conservative government over the deal signed with Australia last week.

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 11:52

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Watch: Darts crowd chants ‘Stand up if you hate Boris’

Crowd chants ‘stand up if you hate Boris’ at darts world championship

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 11:51

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30% of Britons ‘less likely to listen to PM’ due to No 10 parties – poll

Boris Johnson is distrusted as a source of guidance on Covid by almost six out of 10 Britons (59 per cent) – more than distrust information from social media – according to a new poll.

And almost three in 10 (28 per cent) said that they are less likely to follow Covid rules as a result of reports of Christmas parties at 10 Downing Street. The Savanta survey for The Independent was published as the nation waited to see if the PM will order fresh curbs over the festive period, after cabinet rejected scientific advice for swift action to stop the Omicron variant overwhelming the NHS.

It found that many Britons are acting before being told to by the government, reports our political editor Andrew Woodcock.

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 11:10

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In images: Booster vaccines around the UK

Members of the public queue for a Covid jab outside Hampden Park, in Glasgow, which is being used as a mass vaccination facility

(Getty)

A soldier administers a booster jab to Charlotte Daniel (left) at a Covid vaccination centre at Elland Road in Leeds

(PA)

Associate practitioner Alex Iheanacho (right) administers a Covid booster jab to Shona McCauley (left) in Leeds

(PA)

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 11:05

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Watch: London’s NYE event at Trafalgar Square cancelled over Omicron

New Year’s Eve Event In Trafalgar Square Cancelled As Omicron Cases Surge Original Video M205610

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 10:54

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Opinion: ‘PM is failing to learn from the Tory leaders before him’

Columnist Marie Le Conte writes about where she believes Boris Johnson is going wrong.

There’s a lot to focus on at the moment, isn’t there? Between Omicron threatening to blow up everyone’s Christmases, Omicron threatening to blow up the Conservative Party and the 24/7 piss up Whitehall was apparently attending while we were in lockdown, it’s hard to know where to look.

Take the – disastrous, self-inflicted, hilarious – North Shropshire by-election; it happened last week yet already feels like it belongs to a different, long dead world. Who even was this “Owen Paterson”?

More seriously, something happened on the day of the results which feels worth coming back to, especially as it immediately got buried under an avalanche of news. Speaking on camera on Friday, Boris Johnson told journalists: “Basically what’s been going wrong… is that in the last few weeks some things have been going very well, but what the people have been hearing… is just a constant litany of stuff about politics and politicians and stuff that isn’t about them and isn’t about the things that we can do to make life better.”

Of course, governments would rather the media focus on press releases of good news and of course, the media is not keen on doing that. None of that is new, Marie writes.

Sam Hancock21 December 2021 10:41

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