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Sir Keir Starmer ups the ante in battle over Boris Johnson’s future amid new ‘wine time’ claims | UK News




Sir Keir Starmer is ratcheting up the heat on Boris Johnson in Downing Street drinking after new allegations of ‘Wine Fridays’ in Number 10.

In a major speech, the Labor leader will claim that the party allegations of recent days reveal that the Prime Minister is guilty of “deceit and deceit” and unable to lead.

Sir Keir’s attack comes after the Daily Mirror reported that Downing Street staff held ‘wine hour Fridays’ throughout the pandemic, which the Prime Minister regularly witnesses.

What parties would have taken place in Whitehall and Downing Street during the lockdown?

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The Mirror claims Mr Johnson encouraged his aides to ‘let off steam’ despite being banned from socializing in large groups under his own lockdown rules.

It’s even claimed regular events were so popular that staff invested in a £142 drinks fridge to keep their bottles of white wine, prosecco and beer chilled.

It is alleged aides took turns visiting a local Tesco Tube on Friday with the now notorious wheeled suitcase – used the day before Prince Philip’s funeral – to fill the fridge with 34 bottles.

The latest grim accusations come after No 10 was forced to apologize to the Queen after the revelation of drunken evenings in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.

    Handout photo issued by the UK Parliament of the Prime Minister questioning Keir Starmer during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.  Picture date: Wednesday January 12, 2022. Pic: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor
In a major speech, the Labor leader will claim that the Prime Minister is incapable of leading

Appropriately enough, the latest row over the lockdown parties has prompted Cabinet ministers to privately claim the Prime Minister is in the “last chance parlour”, according to the Times.

And with reports that leadership rivals Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are courting Tory MPs and donors, the Financial Times quotes a longtime supporter of Mr Johnson lamenting: “It’s over. It’s over.”

When faced with the Mirror allegations, a Downing Street spokesman made no attempt to deny them and relied on the now familiar response that they would be looked into as part of civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry.

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What Could Sue Gray’s Investigation of the No. 10 Parties Mean and Who Decides What Happens Next?

“An investigation is underway to establish the facts regarding the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, setting and purpose in reference to compliance with the guidelines at the time,” the spokesperson told Sky News.

“The findings will be made public in due course.”

In his assault on the Prime Minister, in a speech to a Fabian Society conference, Sir Keir will condemn the Conservative government’s record on the pandemic and expose the infighting over whether Mr Johnson should stay in power.

“Rather than focusing on the pandemic and shrinking waiting lists, this self-indulgent Conservative party is instead fighting over a leader it should have known from the start was not fit for hold a position,” he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centre) leaves the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, as public anger continues following the leak on Monday of an email from the Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting staff at 100 Downing Street to a
Boris Johnson, pictured on Wednesday, faces growing calls to quit

“We are witnessing the shattered spectacle of a prime minister mired in deceit and deceit, unable to lead.”

Sir Keir is upping the ante in the battle for Mr Johnson’s future amid growing fury among the Tory base and claims support for the Prime Minister is drying up.

Faced with the mutiny of his MPs and activists, the Prime Minister is said to be preparing a response to save his post as Prime Minister, which he calls Operation Save Big Dog.

Analysis: Wagons circle around the PM but his government is crippled by the ‘partygate’ scandal

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His plan would include drawing up a list of civil servants whom he will ask to offer their resignations and removing Plan B COVID restrictions, including COVID passports, masks and working from home.

But with Tory MPs mostly in their constituencies this weekend, opposition to the Prime Minister could harden as disgruntled voters and campaigners give him a stark verdict.

:: Watch Sir Keir’s speech live on Sky News from 10am




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