London party

Johnson will leave London ‘to continue his work’ as Partygate police demand answers

Boris Johnson will leave Westminster this week insisting he is ‘getting to work’ while facing questions from police investigating alleged lockdown breaches.

The Prime Minister is expected to tout his Downing Street staff reshuffle as helping him focus on his ‘leveling up’ policy as he battles to survive the partygate scandal.

The No 10 said he would start the week with a tour of a manufacturing site in Scotland before heading to an oncology center tackling coronavirus backlogs in the North West of England.

But the trip comes within seven days of Mr Johnson having to avoid a fine by answering a legal questionnaire from Scotland Yard officers investigating whether he broke his own Covid laws.

Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m leaving London this week and I’m taking home a simple message: this government is in the business of uniting and leveling the country.

“Access to good health care, good education, skilled work, reliable transport – none of this should depend on where you live. We are changing the rules of the game to put fairness back in heart of the system and focus on the priorities that really matter to people.

“This is our mission and we continue to deliver it.”

Traveling north of the border will present its own challenges, with his ally Jacob Rees-Mogg accusing Douglas Ross of being ‘light-hearted’ after the Scottish Conservative leader called for Mr Johnson’s resignation.

Calls for the prime minister to quit will only intensify and become more widespread if he fails to convince police that he has not breached regulations in up to six events.

As he employs the help of personal lawyers, the Telegraph quoted Mr Johnson’s allies as reporting he planned to argue he was working at his official Downing Street flat on the night of the alleged ‘party Abba” in November 2020.

The Times said that even if fined he would not resign, likely prompting Tory MPs to impose a vote of confidence in his leadership.

Scotland Yard says the questionnaires ask for an “account and explanation of the recipient’s attendance at an event” and have “formal legal status and must be answered honestly”.

Fifteen Tory MPs have publicly called on Mr Johnson to resign, while others are said to have written privately to the 1922 committee of backbench Tories asking for a vote of no confidence.

Others are set to do so if the Prime Minister is found to have broken his own coronavirus laws, or if other damaging details emerge from the Sue Gray investigation.

He will face a vote of no confidence if 54 Tory MPs write to the chairman of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, and would be ousted if more than half of his MPs subsequently vote against him.

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