Boris Johnson handed two-step ‘escape plan’ to stay in power as Prime Minister

Boris Johnson advised on maintaining his job by Tory peer

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Gavin Barwell has set out two ways in which Boris Johnson must change in order to draw a line under the scandals circling Number 10. The Prime Minister has found his position under threat as rank and file Conservative MPs start to lose patience with Boris Johnson’s apparent inability to handle allegations of Tory sleaze and Government double standards. The growing frustrations come following the row over claims Downing Street played host to parties in the run-up to Christmas last year when London was under strict Coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Barwell told GB News: “I think it will depend on two things.

“First, he’s going to have to change his ways, change the style of the government that he leads because if he keeps on making these unforced errors, his MPs are going to ultimately lose patience with him.

“But secondly, I think something you said in your introduction there was spot on, which is the Tory party isn’t sentimental, and more than probably any previous leader, he depends for his position on the perception that he is an asset when it comes to winning elections.

“And if the polls stay in the way that they have been over the last 24, 48 hours for a prolonged period, then that judgement will change among these MPs and you will see a change in leader.”

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The Tory Peer was asked whether the Prime Minister’s potential downfall would come over the issue of trust.

GB News host Alastair Stewart pressed: “Do you agree that the Prime Minister is potentially cornered by on this key issue key of trust?

“Yes, I think the combination of that and extreme frustration among his MPs that are in Paterson affair on parties in Downing Street and on the redecoration of his flat, these are self-inflicted wounds,” replied Mr Barwell.

“Sometimes political parties like on Covid restrictions have divisions, but they’re about serious and complicated issues of public policy.”

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He added: “And I think over the last few weeks as MPs have been taking a lot of flack from their constituents about things that are entirely self-inflicted.”

The latest row to engulf Mr Johnson’s Government erupted after the Prime Minister’s spokesperson Allegra Stratton was caught on camera appearing to joke about a Downing Street Christmas party during a recorded press conference rehearsal.

The Government had spent the previous week strongling denying reports that Number 10 had played host to Christmas parties last December.

Ms Stratton was forced into a teary resignation on Wednesday evening after the Prime Minister told MPs he was “furious” over the content of the video. 

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In the leaked footage, Ms Stratton can be heard making reference to an event at which there had been “cheese and wine.”

The communications chief went on to crack a smile as she told colleagues: “There was no social distancing.”

Ms Stratton had been participating in a mock press conference in preparation for the planned televised Downing Street news conferences which were later scrapped.

Responding to the video, a Downing Street spokesman said: “There was no Christmas party. Covid rules have been followed at all times.”

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