Boris Johnson is reportedly set to lift England’s Plan B coronavirus restrictions in the next review as he struggles to salvage his post as Prime Minister amid fresh party allegations in Downing Street throughout the pandemic.
The plan to save his premiership – which includes drawing up a list of resignations to offer to save his own job, as well as listing his accomplishments – has been dubbed ‘Operation Big Dog’, according to reports.
A decision on the measures, including Covid passes and work-from-home advice, is expected on January 26, by which time the report into alleged lockdown breaches in No 10 is expected to have been published.
Restrictions are set to be lifted – although mask rules may still stand – and an announcement could come within days, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“There frankly doesn’t seem to be any other expectation at the moment,” a source told the newspaper of the January 26 restrictions ending.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, has reportedly already decided that Covid passes are no longer needed as cases have dropped from their record high.
A source told The Times: ‘There has always been a very high threshold for politics and it seems increasingly likely that in a few weeks that threshold will not be reached.
The British Prime Minister is struggling to keep his job amid pressure from breaking lockdown rules in Downing Street.
He is said to be compiling a list of officials to resign over the partygate scandal in order to protect him.
Sources have told The Independent that his plan – named ‘Operation Save Big Dog’ – will also include drawing attention to his achievements.
Downing Street declined to comment on whether there was a plan to save Mr Johnson, but when asked about the name ‘Operation Save Big Dog’, a spokesman said: ‘We absolutely do not recognize that phrase.
The Daily Telegraph reports that political allies at the heart of Mr Johnson’s 2019 campaigns to win the Tory leadership and the general election have been recruited to drum up support from Tory MPs.
It also reports that two sources said the Prime Minister spoke this week with Sir Lynton Crosby, the political strategist who helped him win the London mayoralty and the Tory leadership.
An announcement that lockdown restrictions are ending could distract from the publication of Sue Gray’s report in Westminster parties during multiple lockdowns.
Ministers spoke positively about the state of the pandemic in the UK as signs of relief from the Omicron surge began to appear.
The UK reported 99,652 new cases on Friday, down nearly 80,000 from the previous week. Mr Javid said ‘there are already early signs that the hospitalization rate is starting to slow’.
The Welsh government has already set out a plan to lift most restrictions over a two-week period amid declining cases.
And Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan has expressed hope that he can announce relaxations to coronavirus rules next week.
He said the most recent modeling information on the virus was “very encouraging”.
Downing Street staff have reportedly organized Friday night drinks throughout the pandemic, with Mr Johnson regularly seeing them do so.
The Prime Minister has encouraged his aides to ‘let off steam’ despite being banned from socializing indoors during the lockdown, The Mirror has reported, according to a source.
The newspaper said weekend ‘wine hour Fridays’ had become such a fixture that staff bought a £142 drinks fridge and walked to a nearby Tesco with a suitcase to stock up on wine and beer.
The fridge was reportedly delivered on December 11, 2020, when rules prohibited two or more people from different households from meeting inside unless it was necessary for work.
Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace on Friday after reports that staff attended two separate parties the day before Prince Philip’s funeral in April.
Officials declined to confirm or deny whether Mr Johnson was aware of either party, after admitting to attending an aperitif earlier and being photographed the second.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘It is deeply regrettable that this has happened at a time of national mourning and that No 10 has made his apologies to the Palace.
Around 50 Downing Street staff had times between 4pm and 7pm scheduled in their electronic calendars for ‘wine hour Fridays’ each week, according to The Mirror.
The newspaper said the drinks were organized by the No 10 press office, but that advisers from other parts of the building would also be present. Captain Steve Higham, then defense adviser to the prime minister, reportedly showed up regularly.
A No 10 spokesperson said: “An investigation is underway to establish the facts regarding the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, setting and purpose by reference to compliance with the guidelines at the time. The conclusions will be made public in due course. »