Politics LIVE: Pressure mounts on Boris Johnson as poll finds 54% say Partygate scandal has 'hurt Union' | Scots back Sturgeon over Omicron response

Boris Johnson remains under pressure as PM over the Downing Street lockdown party allegations, with an inquiry into the matter nearing its conclusion.

A Scotsman poll found Scots believe Boris Johnson should resign
A Scotsman poll found Scots believe Boris Johnson should resign

In an exclusive poll from The Scotsman, the majority of Scots believed that Boris Johnson should resign over Partygate, and that his actions had damaged the Union.

Almost four in five Scots believe the Prime Minister should resign over the allegations that Downing Street officials held multiple parties during lockdown, including on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, at least one of which was attended by Mr Johnson.

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Another poll from The Scotsman also found two-thirds of Scots backed Nicola Sturgeon in bringing in stricter measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 before Christmas was the right decision.

Politics LIVE: Pressure mounts on Boris Johnson as poll finds 54% say Partygate scandal has ‘hurt Union’ | Scots back Sturgeon over Omicron response

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Good morning on just another quiet day in British politics....

It’s just after 8am yet and we are here, cup of coffee in hand, with the latest live blog giving you all the reaction, fallout and latest news from around Westminster and Holyrood.

You can read the exclusive Scotsman poll here which found that the vast majority of Scots believe Boris Johnson’s time as Prime Minister should be over due to the ongoing ‘Partygate’ scandal.

More than two-thirds of Scots said the decision by the Scottish Government to bring in stricter measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 before Christmas.

At a glance

More details from our exclusive poll

  • Asked how they would vote if a referendum on Scottish independence was held tomorrow, 50% said they would vote yes to independence – two points higher than in October – and 50% said they would back no.
  • When don’t knows are included, support for both Yes and No was at 46% with 8% undecided.
  • Almost eight in 10 (79%) respondents said Mr Ross made the right decision in calling for the Prime Minister to resign.
  • The survey of 1,004 Scots asked to what extent the alleged parties in Downing Street have hurt the case for the Union, with 54% saying they have hurt it either a lot or a little.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said Boris Johnson will “never escape the damage to his reputation” over lockdown-breaking parties at Number 10.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “Conservative MPs have been fighting each other like ferrets in a sack this week, and it’s very hard to see how the Prime Minister survives.

“Even if he were to survive, he will just limp on because he’s never going to escape the damage that this week has done to his reputation.”

Mr Drakeford continued: “From my point of view, the thing that worries me the most is the fact that the UK Government is frozen by the impact of what has happened to them.

“They’re just not able to make the sorts of decisions you’d expect the Government to make, because everything is seen through this lens, the attempt to try and shore up the Prime Minister to protect him from the attacks that his own side are making on him.

“That means it’s a Government that’s turned in on itself and isn’t capable of doing the job that it was elected to do.”

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has detailed the country’s roadmap out of Covid restrictions. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that, although he thinks the alleged behaviour by whips “very unlikely”, anyone found to have blackmailed MPs over the distribution of public funds should be disciplined.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain the whips’ job is “to persuade people to vote with the Government, as they have done for decades, and they try to do that by a variety of means”.

But he said: “The idea that they’ll say to an MP ‘Well, if you don’t vote with the Government then your school or your hospital won’t get the requisite funds’, I think that’s appalling.”

He added: “They’re serious allegations, they need to be investigated, and I think there should be consequences if people have been found to behave in that way.

“I find it very unlikely myself, but we’re going to have to look into this.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has supported Boris Johnson and said “there is no leadership election” amid pressure on him to resign as Prime Minister.

While Tory MPs continue to disagree over his position, Ms Truss told reporters during a visit to Australia that Mr Johnson “100%” has her support and she wants him to “continue as long as possible in his job”.

Speaking at the Australia-United Kingdom Ministerial Consultations (Aukmin) in Sydney, she said: “The Prime Minister has my 100% support.

“He is doing an excellent job. Britain was one of the first countries to roll out the Covid vaccine.

“We’ve had a very successful booster programme. We’re now able to open up our economy again in Britain and we’ve got one of the fastest-growing economies in the G7.

“And the reason that we are here in Australia is working with our very close partners, to advance freedom and democracy around the world, and to protect our country.

“I want the Prime Minister to continue as long as possible in his job. He is doing a fantastic job. There is no leadership election.”

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