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Boris Johnson Covid announcement – PM ‘may reveal he’s dropping Plan B THIS WEEK’ as ally insists he’s ‘safe in his job’

BORIS Johnson “is safe in his job”, a Cabinet ally has insisted, despite fury over “partygate” – amid hopes Plan B will be lifted within days by the PM.

This morning Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi insisted Mr Johnson was staying put.

On the third time of asking if the PM is “safe in his job” the top Tory said: “Yes, he is, because he’s human and we make mistakes. And, actually, he came to the despatch box and apologised and said he will absolutely submit himself to Parliament, because that’s our parliamentary democracy.”

Mr Zahawi, who himself has been tipped as a future leader, dismissed suggestions of a concerted plan to save his boss’ career. 

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson will announce THIS WEEK whether he is ditching Plan B restrictions, Downing Street hinted today.

The PM is widely expected to drop working from home guidance and vaccine passports when the measures expire next Wednesday – but masks could stay.

Oliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, said the “signs are encouraging” that Plan B rules will be relaxed within a matter of weeks, including an end to work from home guidance and the axing of covid passports.

Read our covid live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Feeling light-headed may be early Omicron warning symptom

    OMICRON symptoms are different for everyone who catches the variant – with many more than the classic Covid three.

    Some people don’t have any at all, some will only have a few and others might experience a whole range.

    But there are a couple that have popped up time and time again as indicators you could be starting to come down with the virus.

    These have included sore throats, night sweats and headaches as early warning signs.

    And now a new report from Germany has suggested fainting spells could be a sign of Omicron.

    Doctors in Berlin have found a link after a 35-year-old came to hospital suffering recurrent fainting spells – who was then found to have Covid.

  • Education secretary insists PM is staying put

    This morning Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi insisted Mr Johnson was staying put.

    On the third time of asking if the PM is “safe in his job” the top Tory said: “Yes, he is, because he’s human and we make mistakes.

    “And, actually, he came to the despatch box and apologised and said he will absolutely submit himself to Parliament, because that’s our parliamentary democracy.”

    Mr Zahawi, who himself has been tipped as a future leader, dismissed suggestions of a concerted plan to save his boss’ career. 

  • ‘Untrue that PM was warned about event in advance’

    Tonight No10 repeated their insistence that “It is untrue that the Prime Minister was warned about the event in advance.”

    “As he said earlier this week he believed implicitly that this was a work event.

    “He has apologised to the House and is committed to making a further statement once the investigation concludes.”

  • North East reporting highest cases in the UK

    The North East is reporting the highest case numbers in all of the UK, with almost double the case rate (2,015 per 100,000) than London (1,161).

    The region saw a growth in Omicron behind the capital – which bore the brunt of the variant when it first emerged in early December, before it spread across the country.

    But the Government coronavirus dashboard shows that in the North East, cases have been receding for around a week.

  • Omicron ‘disappearing in all parts of UK except one

    OMICRON is “disappearing” across the UK other than one region, with hopes Plan B will be lifted within days.

    The super-mutant strain is losing its grip, data suggest, giving experts cautious optimism.

    Some 208,000 people were catching symptomatic Covid every day at the peak of the wave.

    But this has now reduced to 155,000, according to estimates from the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, which tracks the outbreak using millions of app users’ data.

    Prof Tim Spector, an epidemiologist who leads the research, wrote on Twitter: “Zoe shows Omicron cases disappearing fast all over the U.K. except NEast – down from peak of 208000 to 155000 per day so still high but looking good.”

  • PM enlists Royal Navy to stop Channel migrants as he tries to stay in No10

    Boris Johnson is to enlist the Royal Navy to help combat migrant Channel crossings as he launches a policy blitz in a bid to cling on to his job.

    The PM also plans to ban boozing in Downing Street and fire failing advisers as he attempts to draw a line under partygate as part of his “Operation Red Meat” initiative.

    Mr Johnson will also vow to turbo-charge growth across the North and Midlands when he publishes the Government’s long-awaited Levelling Up plan next week.

    Yet former Cabinet ministers said the PM’s populist initiatives do not go far enough to save his skin — and by last night six Tory MPs had gone public to call for him to quit.

    Under Mr Johnson’s drive, the Navy would take over from the Border Force within the next few weeks in the battle to prevent migrants crossing the Channel in small boats to get into the UK.

    Government insiders believe the sight of Navy vessels patrolling will deter people-smuggling gangs from sending dinghies across the stretch.

  • Keir Starmer refuses to apologise over office beer

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has refused to apologise over images of him drinking beer in an office at a time when coronavirus rules banned indoor socialising.

    Sir Keir insisted no rules were broken while he had a takeaway in a constituency office while working on the election campaign in 2021.

    He repeatedly refused to apologise and was branded a “hypocrite” by a caller during his LBC Radio phone-in show.

    The Labour leader has demanded the resignation of Boris Johnson over No 10 parties held during 2020 when England was locked down.

    Sir Keir was pictured in the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy on April 30 2021 in the run-up to May’s local elections and the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election.

    He said: “The picture of me was in a constituency office up in the North East, it was I think, three or four days before the May elections, so we’re really busy. I was with my team going across the country from place to place. We’re in the office, working in the office and we stopped for a takeaway, and then we carried on working and that is the long and the short of it. There was no breach of the rules. There was no party. And there was absolutely no comparison with the Prime Minister.”

  • UK appears to be moving out of Omicron’s grip

    The UK appears to be moving out of Omicron’s grip, with 70,924 Covid cases were reported yesterday – the lowest daily total in more than a month.

    The last time infections dropped below 70,000 was on December 14 when 59,610 positive tests were recorded.

    It is the third day in a row that the number of people testing positive has fallen below 100,000 in a promising sign the country is moving past the Omicron peak.

  • UK daily Covid cases fall 40% in a week

    THE UK’s daily Covid cases are down on last Monday’s figures by 40 per cent.

    Last week new infections were 142,224 and today they are 84,429, in a huge drop.

    Yesterday 70,924 new infections were reported in 24 hours, with 88 deaths logged.

    This was the lowest figure for a month, after Omicron began to spread throughout the country.

    The last time infections dropped below 70,000 was on December 14 when 59,610 positive tests were recorded.

  • Covid isolation slashed to five days from today

    Major Covid rule changes came in today for Brits in a major boost for struggling businesses.

    People in England who test positive for the virus can now leave isolation after five full days after daily cases more than halved in a fortnight.

    The rule change was confirmed by the Health Secretary last week – after experts had called for isolation to be slashed while the NHS struggles with mass staff absences.

    Fresh research suggested slashing isolation to five days would only result in an extra two in 100 people leaving quarantine while still infectious.

  • What is included in Labour’s 10 point plan

    Labour’s 10 point plan for living with Covid:

    • Retain volunteer responders to assist with vaccination (next winter)
    • Prioritise testing and make it fit for the future
    • Fix sick pay
    • Playing our part in vaccinating the world
    • Prioritise children’s learning
    • Launch exercises to learn lessons
    • Publish a “road map” for future decision-making
    • Transform the “front door” of the NHS and use Covid’s legacy to build resilience and bring waiting lists down
    • Transform social care
    • Turbo-charge research and innovation
  • UK daily Covid cases fall 40% in a week

    THE UK’s daily Covid cases are down on last Monday’s figures by 40 per cent.

    Last week new infections were 142,224 and today they are 84,429, in a huge drop.

    Yesterday 70,924 new infections were reported in 24 hours, with 88 deaths logged.

    This was the lowest figure for a month, after Omicron began to spread throughout the country.

    The last time infections dropped below 70,000 was on December 14 when 59,610 positive tests were recorded.

  • Studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains

    A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

    Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

    The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

  • Dowden optimistic Plan B will remain ‘for shortest period possible’

    Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden was optimistic as he said Plan B would remain in place for “the shortest period possible”.

    He said: “I’m under no doubt the kind of burdens this puts on hospitality, wider business, schools, and I want us to get rid of those if we possibly can.

    “The signs are encouraging but, clearly, we will wait to see the data ahead of that final decision.”

  • No10: PM does not refer to himself as ‘big dog’

    The Prime Minister does not refer to himself as “big dog”, No 10 said.

    Following reports of a bid to save Boris Johnson from censure off the back of the so-called partygate scandal, reports suggested a concerted effort dubbed “Operation: Save Big Dog” had been launched.

    But when the Prime Minister’s official spokesman was asked whether Mr Johnson was referred to by staff as “big dog”, he said: “I’ve never heard that term used.”

    Asked whether the PM referred to himself by the nickname, the spokesman said: “Certainly not that I am aware of.”

  • The two key Omicron symptoms

    Two key symptoms, according to an expert, are a runny nose and headache.

    Professor Irene Petersen, a professor of epidemiology and health informatics at University College London, told the Independent: “A runny nose and headache are symptoms of many infections, but may also be the first symptoms – and only symptoms – of Covid.

    “Therefore, if you have these symptoms, I’d encourage you to use lateral flow tests for a couple of days.”

  • No10 refuses to confirm if PM has been interviewed by Sue Gray

    Downing Street has refused to say whether the Prime Minister had been interviewed by Sue Gray.

    The Telegraph reported that Boris Johnson had spoken to the senior official as part of her inquiry and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said Mr Johnson had “submitted himself to that investigation”.

    But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “As with any individual I wouldn’t get into commenting on the process of the ongoing investigation.”

    The PM’s spokesman was asked if he had attended a leaving party for former director of communications James Slack, and he said: “Again, as others have been asked, I’m not able to comment on that while that investigation is ongoing in terms of attendance and things like that.”

    Asked if he had spoken to Ms Gray, the spokesman added: “Again, it’s not for me to talk about who the investigation has spoken to or who it hasn’t.”

  • Education Secretary says ‘numbers are looking positive’

    Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi today said “the numbers are looking positive” in the UK’s fight against Covid.

    Mr Zahawi said: “I’m confident that when we review this on January 26 then we’ll be in a much better place to lift some of these restrictions. I think we are witnessing the transition of this virus from pandemic to endemic.

    “I hope we’ll be one of the first major economies to demonstrate to the world how you transition this from pandemic to endemic.”

  • Boris Johnson set to make major announcement THIS WEEK

    BORIS Johnson will announce THIS WEEK whether he is ditching Plan B restrictions, Downing Street hinted today.

    Working from home, mandatory indoor mask-wearing and vaccine passports are set to expire next Wednesday.

    No10 this morning vowed to reveal whether they intend to extend the measures beyond January 26 in plenty of time.

    The PM’s official spokesman said: “I think you’d expect us, as we’ve always sought to do is give the maximum amount of time possible. 

    “I don’t have a specific date for you. But certainly we will look to announce our position in advance to those changes coming into effect.”

  • Keir Starmer refuses to apologise over office beer

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has refused to apologise over images of him drinking beer in an office at a time when coronavirus rules banned indoor socialising.

    Sir Keir insisted no rules were broken while he had a takeaway in a constituency office while working on the election campaign in 2021.

    He repeatedly refused to apologise and was branded a “hypocrite” by a caller during his LBC Radio phone-in show.

    The Labour leader has demanded the resignation of Boris Johnson over No 10 parties held during 2020 when England was locked down.

    Sir Keir was pictured in the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy on April 30 2021 in the run-up to May’s local elections and the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election.

    He said: “The picture of me was in a constituency office up in the North East, it was I think, three or four days before the May elections, so we’re really busy. I was with my team going across the country from place to place. We’re in the office, working in the office and we stopped for a takeaway, and then we carried on working and that is the long and the short of it. There was no breach of the rules. There was no party. And there was absolutely no comparison with the Prime Minister.”

  • Downing Street statement on PM commuting in March 2020

    Downing Street said Boris Johnson commuted between Chequers and No 10 during March 2020 as his wife was pregnant and it was safer for the couple to be away from London.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was asked about reporting by news website Tortoise that alleged Mr Johnson had commuted between his country residence and No 10 between March 16 and 27, 2020, when guidance said people should not travel for non-essential reasons.

    He said: “At the time, as you know, Mrs Johnson was heavily pregnant and had been placed in a vulnerable category and advised to minimise social contacts, so in line with clinical guidance and to minimise the risk to her they were based at Chequers during that period, with the Prime Minister commuting to Downing Street to work.”

    The spokesman said there would have been staff at Chequers with the couple.

    He said the guidance on not travelling to second homes did not come in until March 22, “at which point the Prime Minister and his wife were already based in Chequers, acting in line with clinical guidance”.

    Asked if the PM was therefore putting his wife at risk by commuting during the period, the spokesman said: “The Prime Minister was leading the coronavirus response, the pandemic response, and in line with a number of individuals who were required to still be in work… that’s why the Prime Minister was coming to No 10 for necessary work meetings.”

  • Downing Street says ‘encouraging signs in data’ for Plan B lift on Jan 26

    Downing Street said there were “encouraging signs” in the data as Boris Johnson considers whether England’s Plan B restrictions can be lifted on January 26, when they are due to expire.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the “maximum amount of time possible” would be given to prepare for any changes in the rules.

    “In terms of the data, there are some encouraging signs that infections are falling across the country,” the spokesman said.

    “Obviously we want to see that mirrored in the latest ONS data as well.

    “There are also some signs of falls – or at least plateauing – in admissions and occupancy in hospital, which is good to see.

    “But it still remains the case that our NHS is under significant pressure, there are over 16,000 Covid patients in hospital in England alone.

    “So we are keeping a very close eye on the data but we do believe the mitigations we have in place – particularly our booster programme – is offering massive protection to the public.”

  • Sajid Javid urges people to get boosted

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said: “We can learn to live with Covid if everybody comes forward for their vaccines and gets boosted now.”

    Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS vaccination programme, also said: “Covid has caused so much disruption for so many families over the past two years, affecting young people’s lives and education.

    “I’d urge everyone, whatever your age, to come forward and get that vital top-up as soon as it is possible.”

  • Boris Johnson’s future as Prime Minister on ‘death row’

    BORIS Johnson’s Premiership is on “death row” as he faces a two-week battle to save his political neck.

    The PM has been warned he is in for the fight of his life as top Tories held emergency talks over when to bring his 907 days in office to a swift end.

    One senior figure yesterday claimed up to 35 MPs had already sent letters of no confidence to backbenchers’ leader Sir Graham Brady.

    A Cabinet source said: “Boris is toast and deep down he knows that. He’s not stupid. He’ll be thinking long and hard about his way out now.

    “He may reach the conclusion it is better to get out with a bit of dignity in his own time.

    “Even if he wins a confidence vote, he’ll know that’s a step along the road towards the exit door.”

    Read more here.

  • Covid rule change today

    There are major Covid rule changes which are set to be implemented from today, including a boost for struggling businesses and the NHS whereby people in England can leave isolation after five full days from Monday.

    From Monday isolation rules are changing, going down to five full days.

    But the confusing detail of the new rules means anyone isolating will actually have to do so for six, not five, days.

    This is because the first full day of isolation is NOT the day you test positive or noticed symptoms – although you must still isolate following either of these events.

    Read the full article here.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/17285066/boris-johnson-news-announcement-party-covid-tests-rules-lockdown/ Boris Johnson Covid announcement – PM ‘may reveal he’s dropping Plan B THIS WEEK’ as ally insists he’s ‘safe in his job’

Bobby Allyn

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