Boris Johnson is coming under increasing pressure from his party as up to 100 Tory MPs prepare to rebel against the Prime Minister on Tuesday and vote against new Covid restrictions.
Sixty-eight Tory MPs have already said they will not support the government in a vote on new restrictions which include mandatory face masks and Covid certification for night clubs and large events.
Last night the Prime Minister said it was vital we “reinforce our wall of vaccine protection” as there was a “tidal wave” of Omicron cases on the way.
The UK’s ‘Covid Alert’ is now at Level 4 and from tomorrow a host of walk-in centres will open for Brits to get so-called booster jabs.
More evidence emerged from South Africa over the weekend that the highly transmissible Omicron variant is less deadly than the Delta variant.
South African Medical Association chair Dr Angelique Coetzee told LBC today that “there’s no reason why you can’t trust us when we say to you it’s a mild disease”.
Frustration is growing amongst many on the Tory backbenches that restrictions are being put in place despite that increasing evidence.
The backbench rebellion comes as the Conservatives are starting to fall well behind Labour in polling, after allegations that a number of parties were held in Downing Street during lockdown restrictions last year.
Speaking about the new Covid restrictions, perennial rebel Conservative MP Steve Baker told Sky News that “I think what we are doing now is creating a miserable dystopia”.
The new restrictions are still set to pass through parliament, with Labour voting with the government.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer today told the BBC he would not “play politics” with public health.
The government now believes one-in-three Covid cases in London are the Omicron variant and that it will soon be the dominant strain in the country. One minister said today that there could be up to 160,000 cases already.
Earlier this evening Boris Johnson said that it is “now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need” but that “our scientists are confident that with a third dose… we can all bring our level of protections back up.”
The Prime Minister is also coming under immense pressure over mounting evidence that his staff held numerous parties in Downing Street during last winter’s lockdowns.
A photo of the Prime Minister hosting a zoom quiz last Christmas for Number 10 staff also emerged in the Sunday Mirror.
Staff were allegedly doing the boozy quiz throughout Downing Street, which appears to contradict Johnson’s claims that he had no idea any illegal events were held in Number 10 last December.
An Observer/Opinium poll has given Labour a nine-point lead over the Tories – their largest lead since 2014.