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Carrie gives birth to second baby with Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson will take some time off after his wife Carrie gave birth to his seventh child today – a baby girl – despite the turmoil triggered by launching ‘Plan B’ on Omicron and the furore over Christmas parties at No 10.

The couple walked into a central London NHS hospital at 7.40am this morning – around two hours after police officers turned up to secure the site ahead of Carrie’s arrival, MailOnline can reveal.

A masked Mrs Johnson, 33, was accompanied into a side entrance by a bodyguard carrying an overnight bag. Her husband, 57, wearing a mask and a trademark wooly hat, was flanked by two policemen as he followed her in carrying a suitcase and what appeared to be a bluetooth speaker.

The baby girl, a younger sister to their son Wilf, one, was born within a couple of hours with Mr Johnson at his third wife’s side throughout the labour and birth. The PM returned to Downing Street at lunchtime after leaving the maternity ward at around 11.45am. 

In a statement the couple said: ‘The Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson are delighted to announce the birth of a healthy baby girl at a London hospital earlier today. Both mother and daughter are doing very well. The couple would like to thank the brilliant NHS maternity team for all their care and support.’   

The Prime Minister will not take two weeks of paternity leave, his spokesman said, but added his boss will ‘to take some time with his family’ and ‘balance that’ with his responsibilities including his daily red boxes and PMQs next week.

‘You can expect the Prime Minister to take some time with his family,’ the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, ‘As ever he has to balance that with his responsibilities as Prime Minister in leading the country, which he will continue to do.’

The spokesman added: ‘I think there’s a recognition the Prime Minister has a unique role and this is a particularly challenging time for the country and the Prime Minister will continue to lead, as the public would expect, while making time for his family.’ Put to him that it did not sound like the Prime Minister was taking paternity leave, the spokesman said: ‘I’m not sure what the strict definitions of that are.’

Mrs Johnson has called their newborn girl their ‘rainbow baby’ – a term used by parents having a child after losing a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death and coined to signify the arrival of something beautiful after a storm. 

The couple announced they were expecting at the end of July, as Carrie, an environmental campaigner and former director of communications for the Conservatives, described her own ‘heartbreak’ following a miscarriage in early 2021. 

Their little girl’s name has not been revealed but Charlotte and Maggie are the two names being heavily backed by bookies at 3/1. It is 12/1 that the Johnsons opt for Elizabeth, with Theresa at 33/1, Allegra at 50/1 and Borissa at 100/1 among the unlikely outsiders. 

As the PM welcomed his seventh child, although he has frequently obfuscated when asked exactly how many he has, it also emerged today: 

  • The Cabinet Secretary’s investigation into Government Christmas parties has been widened to probe three alleged Christmas parties – but will not look at claims of a party being held in Boris Johnson’s flat allegedly thrown to celebrate the exit of Dominic Cummings on November 13; 
  • The PM is also facing questions over whether he misled an investigation into a donation for refurbishments to his Downing Street flat after a watchdog fined the Tories £17,800;
  • Mr Johnson is struggling to contain a Tory revolt today amid fury at ‘non-sensical’ new Covid restrictions and his handling of the No10 Christmas party debacle. Rebels are threatening to vote against Plan B next week but it is expected to pass because Labour is backing vaccine certificates, the wider use of masks and asking millions to work from home;
  • The UK could breach 1million Omicron cases by the end of December, Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned;
  • Britain’s hospitality venues face losing £8billion over the Christmas season amid new Covid-19 restrictions with pubs and restaurants facing mass cancellations under Plan B, and concerns that measures could be ‘catastrophic’;  
11.45am: Boris Johnson leaves a NHS hospital this morning after his wife Carrie gave birth to a baby girl - their second and his seventh child

7.40am: Boris Johnson 's wife Carrie has given birth to the Prime Minister's seventh child today - a baby girl, pictured arriving at a London hospital this morning

11.45am: Boris Johnson leaves a London NHS hospital this morning after his wife Carrie gave birth to a baby girl – their second and his seventh child. At 7.40am (right) Boris Johnson ‘s wife Carrie was pictured arriving before she gave birth to the Prime Minister’s seventh child today – a baby girl

The baby girl, a younger sister to their son Wilf, one, who was born in April 2020, was born within a couple of hours of Carrie's arrival at hospital (pictured) with Mr Johnson at his third wife's side throughout the labour and birth.

The baby girl, a younger sister to their son Wilf, one, who was born in April 2020, was born within a couple of hours of Carrie’s arrival at hospital (pictured) with Mr Johnson at his third wife’s side throughout the labour and birth.

The PM, wearing a mask and a trademark wooly hat, was flanked by two policemen as he followed her in carrying a suitcase and what appeared to be a bluetooth speaker

The PM, wearing a mask and a trademark wooly hat, was flanked by two policemen as he followed her in carrying a suitcase and what appeared to be a bluetooth speaker

The couple announced they were expecting their second child together at the end of July, as the 33-year-old environmental campaigner and former director of communications for the Conservatives spoke of having a miscarriage earlier in 2021.

The couple announced they were expecting their second child together at the end of July, as the 33-year-old environmental campaigner and former director of communications for the Conservatives spoke of having a miscarriage earlier in 2021.

The couple announced they were expecting their second child together at the end of July, as the 33-year-old environmental campaigner and former director of communications for the Conservatives spoke of having a miscarriage earlier in 2021.

Boris Johnson arriving back at Downing Street after the birth of his baby daughter amid turmoil at No 10

Boris Johnson arriving back at Downing Street after the birth of his baby daughter amid turmoil at No 10

The PM has a son, Wilfred, with third wife Carrie Johnson (above at the G7 in Cornwall) and four with his second wife Marina Wheeler. He also has a daughter from an affair in 2009.

The PM has a son, Wilfred, with third wife Carrie Johnson (above at the G7 in Cornwall) and four with his second wife Marina Wheeler. He also has a daughter from an affair in 2009.

Seven or eight…. How many children does Boris Johnson REALLY have? 

The Prime Minister and Marina Wheeler, who separated in 2018, have four children together: Lara Lettice, 26, Milo Arthur, 24, Cassia Peaches, 22, and Theodore Apollo, 20.

He also has a fifth child, Stephanie Macintyre, with art consultant Helen Macintyre (right). Ms Macintyre’s daughter is allegedly one of two children he may have fathered as a result of an affair. 

The Appeal Court ruled in 2013 that the public had a right to know that he had fathered a daughter during an adulterous liaison while Mayor of London in 2009 – but also mentioned the possibility of a second baby. 

Lara attended Bedales school – which costs £33,000-a-year – in Hampshire and went on to read Latin at St Andrews University.

She reportedly branded her father a ‘selfish b******’ after his split with her mother. 

Milo went to £27,000-a-year Westminster School and can speak Arabic, Russian and French, The Mirror reports. Cassia went to Highgate School – which costs £18,000 per year – and Theodore went to Cambridge University. 

Boris’ son Wilf, born on April 29, 2020,  is from his relationship with new wife Carrie, who lives with him in Downing Street.  

His second baby with Carrie was born today, his seventh child officially.

Boris’ happy news came after a day of bedlam in government where he is struggling to contain a Tory revolt today amid fury at ‘non-sensical’ new Covid restrictions and his handling of the No10 Christmas party debacle, which forced the tearful resignation of senior Government aide Allegra Stratton. 

Last night the PM dramatically triggered ‘Plan B’ measures to control the rampant Omicron strain at a press conference, with fears that infections are now doubling every few days and the NHS could be crippled.  But critics says the restrictions are ‘mental’ as he urged 66million Britons to work from home if they can to slow the spread of Omicron – but still head into town for Christmas parties as well as festive drinks and dinners. 

And amid more scandal at No 10, Baby Johnson entered the world just as the Conservatives were fined £17,800 over the controversial donation to help cover the lavish refurbishments to the couple’s Downing Street flat.  

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: ‘Congratulations to Carrie and Boris Johnson on the birth of their daughter. ‘Wishing your family health and happiness.’ 

Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson was born in April last year and was named in partly in tribute to two doctors, Nick Hart and Nick Price, who helped saved the Prime Minister’s life when he was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 earlier that month.

The couple married during a secretly-planned wedding at Westminster Cathedral in May.

Mr Johnson, 57, has four children with his barrister ex-wife Marina Wheeler.

It emerged during a court hearing in 2013 that he had fathered a daughter during an affair when he was London mayor in 2009.

The PM dramatically triggered ‘Plan B’ measures to control the rampant Omicron strain at a press conference last night, with fears that infections are now doubling every few days and the NHS could be crippled. 

But critics says the restrictions are ‘mental’ as he urged 66million Britons to work from home if they can to slow the spread of Omicron – but still head into town for Christmas parties as well as festive drinks and dinners.

Millions of office staff will be urged to work from home from Monday, while masks will be required in theatres and cinemas, and Covid passports are being introduced for nightclubs and large venues.

But Mr Johnson stressed that office Christmas parties should go ahead, sparking derision from critics. Desperate businesses have complained that the differing restrictions for venues ‘don’t make any sense’.

Dozens of Conservative MPs are now threatening to rebel against the measures when a Commons vote is held next week – although support from Labour means they will still pass.

In October Carrie Johnson opened up about the ‘constant worry’ she felt during her current pregnancy after suffering a miscarriage earlier this year.

The Prime Minister’s 33-year-old wife candidly shared her experience as part of Britain’s Baby Loss Awareness Week. 

In a post on Instagram, she highlighted the work of Tommy’s Baby Charity – which provides pregnancy information and research – and admitted she has found ‘this pregnancy very different to my first’.  

She wrote: ‘The stories of other people’s experiences shared on their website provided me much comfort after our loss earlier this year. 

Boris, Carrie and Wilf on holiday in Scotland when the little boy in a sling was just five months old

Boris, Carrie and Wilf on holiday in Scotland when the little boy in a sling was just five months old

The Prime Minister's 33-year-old wife candidly shared her experience of miscarriage as part of Britain's Baby Loss Awareness Week on Instagram in October

The Prime Minister’s 33-year-old wife candidly shared her experience of miscarriage as part of Britain’s Baby Loss Awareness Week on Instagram in October

In a post on Instagram (pictured), she highlighted the work of Tommy's Baby Charity - which provides pregnancy information and research - and admitted she has found 'this pregnancy very different to my first'

In a post on Instagram (pictured), she highlighted the work of Tommy’s Baby Charity – which provides pregnancy information and research – and admitted she has found ‘this pregnancy very different to my first’

‘It’s also a helpful resource if you have friends or family that have experienced baby loss and you’re not sure what to say or how best to be supportive.

Will the new baby be named Charlotte, Maggie or even Allegra or Borisa?

Charlotte – 3/1

Margaret/Maggie – 7/2

Alexandra – 9/2

Violet – 7/1

Florence – 8/1

Victoria – 8/1

Josephine – 10/1

Beatrice – 10/1

Mabel – 10/1

Elizabeth – 12/1

Isabella – 12/1

Octavia – 12/1

Sophia – 14/1

Diana – 16/1

Theresa – 33/1

Allegra – 50/1

Borissa – 100/1

 

‘I’ve found this pregnancy very different to my first. Pregnancy after loss is totally wonderful but the worry is constant. Tommy’s has shown me that’s completely normal.’ 

Carrie took to Instagram this summer to reveal she had suffered a miscarriage at the beginning of the year that she says left her ‘heartbroken.’  

She said that she and husband Boris were expecting a rainbow baby – a term for a child born to a family that has previously lost another due to stillbirth or death during infancy.

Being candid with her over 5,000 followers, she wrote: ‘Hoping for our rainbow baby this Christmas. At the beginning of the year, I had a miscarriage which left me heartbroken. 

‘I feel incredibly blessed to be pregnant again but I’ve also felt like a bag of nerves. Fertility issues can be really hard for many people, particularly when on platforms like Instagram it can look like everything is only ever going well. 

‘I found it a real comfort to hear from people who had also experienced loss so I hope that in some very small way sharing this might help others too.’

In September Boris Johnson finally admitted that he is the father of six children after years of speculation.

The Prime Minister is notoriously reluctant to discuss his often colourful private life but let down his guard on American television.

In an interview with NBC on a trip to New York, Mr Johnson admitted for the first time that he has six children – from three different relationships – although there has been some suggestion that there may actually be a seventh. With the birth of his new baby, he may even have eight.

The PM now has two children with his third wife Carrie Johnson and four with his second wife Marina Wheeler. He also has a daughter from an affair in 2009 with journalist and art critic Helen Macintyre – although a court case in 2013 hinted that there may be a second.

Boris has never previously put a figure on the size of his family. Speaking to the Today morning show, he was asked if he was a father of six, replying, ‘yes’. Asked what it was like being a father to a young child while in power he added: ‘It’s fantastic. It’s a lot of work, I’ll tell you that much.  But I love it, I absolutely love it. I change a lot of nappies.’

Boris, pictured with his four children from his marriage to Marina, right, pictured together in London when she became a QC in 2016

Boris, pictured with his four children from his marriage to Marina, right, pictured together in London when she became a QC in 2016

How many parties is the Government alleged to have held last year and when did they happen? 

PARTIES IN DOWNING STREET  

November 13: Dominic Cummings alleges that the PM held a gathering at his grace-and-favour flat on November 13 last year, the day the adviser was ousted from Downing Street. Mr Cummings also suggested there had been ‘other flat parties’.    

November 27: The Prime Minister reportedly gave a speech at a packed Number 10 leaving do for a ‘senior aide’. Sources claimed that ’40 or 50 people’ were present.

December 18: Staff in Downing Street are believed to have held a Christmas party, with reports that dozens of people attended the event, some wearing festive jumpers and exchanging Secret Santa presents. London had been placed into Tier 3 restrictions on December 16 – the highest level of curbs on freedoms at the time which banned people from different households mixing indoors. Downing Street has said Boris Johnson did not attend the event.  

Also December: Sources told the BBC that a separate Christmas quiz event was held for Number 10 staff at some point in December. Everyone was apparently invited to attend and to form teams. One source said some people attended virtually via Zoom but others did attend in person and sat in groups of six. Downing Street has insisted the quiz was ‘virtual’. 

… AND ELSEWHERE IN WHITEHALL  

December 10: Then-education secretary Gavin Williamson hosted a Department for Education party for ‘up to 24 people’ on December 10. The gathering, which included food and drink, took place in the department’s canteen. The department has admitted the event happened.  

December 14: About 25 people gathered in the basement of the Conservative party’s Matthew Parker St offices in Westminster. The Times reported last night that advisers at Conservative campaign headquarters held an event with Shaun Bailey, the party’s unsuccessful candidate for mayor of London this May.  

Mr Johnson has wed three times, with both previous marriages ending in divorce after he had an affair with his future wife.

The PM  – who once dismissed reports of his cheating as ‘an inverted pyramid of piffle’ – married Oxford University sweetheart Allegra Mostyn-Owen in 1987, but they divorced in 1993 after he cheated on her with Wheeler.

In 2004, his four-year affair with journalist and society author Petronella Wyatt, the daughter of Labour grandee Lord Wyatt, became public. She later told how she had an abortion and suffered a miscarriage.

Mr Johnson was sacked from his role as shadow arts minister by then-Tory leader Michael Howard for lying about the relationship.

The following year he fathered a child with art consultant Helen Macintyre but again was reconciled with his then wife.  They finally announced plans to divorce in 2019 year after his relationship with Carrie came to light.

Boris Johnson‘s second wife Marina was reportedly ‘crushed’ and their four children ‘furious’ about news he was having his first child with Carrie in March 2020.

Ms Wheeler divorced Mr Johnson after throwing him out in 2018 amid claims he was having an affair with Ms Symonds.

She is also said to be aggrieved that Boris became engaged and tried for a baby while they were divorcing. 

Mr Johnson is thought to have tried to tell their four children Lara Lettice, 26, Milo Arthur, 24, Cassia Peaches, 22, and Theodore Apollo, 20, in person that he and Carrie were having a baby, born later that year.

But not all of his children reportedly bothered to turn up for their father’s announcement and are said to be ‘furious’ because they believe Carrie and Boris got together after an affair.

On discovering his relationship with with Carrie, who is 24 years Boris’ junior, Lara told friends he was a ‘selfish b*****d’ and all the children are said to have been supporting their mother through the divorce. 

Boris had a fifth child from an affair with art consultant Helen Macintyre. 

At first he denied he was the father and even sought a High Court injunction in 2013 to prevent her existence becoming public. He lost, and also the case led to claims there was another secret love child.  

The confusion sprang from the judgment that suggested he may have fathered two children as a result of the affair with Ms Macintyre.

It read: ‘What was material was that the father’s infidelities resulted in the conception of children on two occasions.’            

Boris Johnson poses with his wife Carrie in the garden of 10 Downing Street following their wedding at Westminster Cathedral on May 29 in London

Boris Johnson poses with his wife Carrie in the garden of 10 Downing Street following their wedding at Westminster Cathedral on May 29 in London

Boris Johnson's second wife Marina (pictured together in 2015) was reportedly 'crushed' and their four children 'furious' about his decision to marry again and have more children

Boris Johnson’s second wife Marina (pictured together in 2015) was reportedly ‘crushed’ and their four children ‘furious’ about his decision to marry again and have more children

Petronella Wyatt, Boris’s vivacious deputy when he was editor of The Spectator – at that time dubbed the ‘Sextator’ because of the numerous affairs between staff, including her relationship with Boris. Pictured together at the Spectator Magazine summer party in 2006

Petronella Wyatt, Boris’s vivacious deputy when he was editor of The Spectator – at that time dubbed the ‘Sextator’ because of the numerous affairs between staff, including her relationship with Boris. Pictured together at the Spectator Magazine summer party in 2006

Boris Johnson and Allegra Mostyn-Owen, pictured together in 1987. They divorced after six years after he had an affair

Boris Johnson and Allegra Mostyn-Owen, pictured together in 1987. They divorced after six years after he had an affair

Boris' daughter Lara (together in 2012) reportedly branded her father a 'selfish b*****d' after allegations he had an affair with Carrie surfaced in 2018

Boris’ daughter Lara (together in 2012) reportedly branded her father a ‘selfish b*****d’ after allegations he had an affair with Carrie surfaced in 2018

Boris and Carrie’s announcement they were getting engaged was made just 11 days after his divorce settlement with Marina Wheeler was agreed in court.  The couple had been married for 27 years and have four children, with Ms Wheeler – a successful barrister – reportedly in line to receive £4million from her husband. 

‘I wonder if there’ll be a No10 party to celebrate?’: Twitter raises an eyebrow at Boris’s baby joy… as PM battles backlash over ‘illegal’ festive bashes

It was an extraordinary announcement after a tumultuous 24 hours for Downing Street that has led many observers to see the funny side.

And Twitter was abuzz today with a light-hearted look at how Boris Johnson‘s wife Carrie has given birth to her second child with the Prime Minister.

Some described it as ‘Plan C’, following Mr Johnson’s announcement last night that England is entering Plan B to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

And others referenced the fallout of an allegedly rule-breaking Number 10 party last December which forced the resignation of senior aide Allegra Stratton.

Among them was a Twitter user who said: ‘I wonder if there will be another party at Downing Street to celebrate the birth of the PM and Carrie Johnson’s daughter?’

A second said: ‘Plan B hasn’t worked in deflection. Quick, Carrie, go for Plan C, drop the sprog. Now!’ A third added: ‘I don’t care Carrie! You’re having this baby tonight.’

And a fourth tweeted: ‘Plan C. Squeeze that kid out Carrie, I’m in a bit of bother.’ Meanwhile a fifth added: ‘What timing. F**kinellll [sic], what’s next, a meteor strike?’

And a sixth said: ‘Carrie, it’s Bobo here, any chance you can sort out a baby this morning… yes, another f**k up… no, it was the parties this this time, see you later.’

Mr and Mrs Johnson announced the birth of a ‘healthy baby girl’ at a London hospital this morning. The Prime Minister was present throughout the birth.

A spokesman for the couple said: ‘Both mother and daughter are doing very well. The couple would like to thank the brilliant NHS maternity team for all their care and support.’

The couple announced they were expecting their second child together at the end of July, as the 33-year-old environmental campaigner spoke of having a miscarriage earlier in the year.  

The birth of a sister for Wilfred came the morning after the Prime Minister announced England is entering Plan B to combat the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

As well as facing Tory anger over the latest restrictions, Mr Johnson was battling the fallout of an allegedly rule-breaking Number 10 Christmas party last year which forced the resignation of senior Government aide Allegra Stratton.

Also this morning, the Conservatives were fined £17,800 over a controversial donation which helped cover the lavish refurbishments to the couple’s Downing Street flat.

The pair were photographed walking into the hospital, reportedly at 7.40am. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer sent his congratulations to the couple on the arrival of their baby, and added: ‘Wishing your family health and happiness.’ 

The new arrival means Mr Johnson has at least seven children, although he has frequently obfuscated when asked exactly how many.

Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson was born in April last year and was named in partly in tribute to two doctors, Nick Hart and Nick Price, who helped saved the Prime Minister’s life when he was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 earlier that month.

The couple married during a secretly-planned wedding at Westminster Cathedral in May. Mr Johnson, 57, has four children with his barrister ex-wife Marina Wheeler.

It emerged during a court hearing in 2013 that he had fathered a daughter during an affair when he was London mayor in 2009. 

 

Britain wakes up to Plan B: PM faces mass Tory revolt over ‘work from home but go to Christmas parties’ message, vaccine pass chaos as website crashes – and businesses face devastation from crippling restrictions

What are the new Covid rules in England?

WFH

The return of work from home guidance. People will be told to work from home in England from Monday if they are able to.

Face mask

Face masks will be made compulsory in most public indoor venues including in cinemas and theatres from this Friday. They will not be required in pubs, restaurants and gyms.

Vaccine passports 

The NHS Covid pass will be compulsory to gain access to nightclubs and other large venues where large crowds gather. 

This will apply to all unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people. 

Two vaccine doses will be treated as fully-vaccinated but this will be kept under review because of the booster programme. 

A negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient. 

This requirement will be rolled out in one week’s time to give businesses time to prepare. 

Contact testing 

Contacts of Omicron cases will be told to take daily coronavirus tests instead of having to self-isolate. They will have to quarantine if they test positive. 

Boris Johnson is struggling to contain a Tory revolt today amid fury at ‘non-sensical’ new Covid restrictions and his handling of the No10 Christmas party debacle.

The PM dramatically triggered ‘Plan B’ measures to control the rampant Omicron strain at a press conference last night, with fears that infections are now doubling every few days and the NHS could be crippled. 

Millions of office staff will be urged to work from home from Monday, while masks will be required in theatres and cinemas, and Covid passports are being introduced for nightclubs and large venues.

But Mr Johnson stressed that office Christmas parties should go ahead, sparking derision from critics. Desperate businesses have complained that the differing restrictions for venues ‘don’t make any sense’. 

Dozens of Conservative MPs are now threatening to rebel against the measures when a Commons vote is held next week – although support from Labour means they will still pass. 

Backbencher Marcus Fysh said today that the latest curbs are an ‘utter disgrace’, while former chief whip Mark Harper has questioned whether the government has the moral authority to impose the limits given the row over rules being flouted in Downing Street.

There was a further setback when the NHS Covid pass website crashed for several hours last night.   

In signs of Cabinet tensions, Sajid Javid this morning dismissed a hint from the PM that mandatory vaccination might be looked at in future, saying that would be ‘ethically wrong’.

And the Health Secretary revealed that he refused to continue with a scheduled round of broadcast interviews yesterday because he was ‘upset’ by the bombshell video of No10 aides giggling about an alleged lockdown-busting festive gathering last year. 

Mr Javid insisted it is ‘proportionate’ to urge people not to go to the office  

The scale of the damage to the Tories from the partying revelations, which followed the sleaze row, has been underlined with a poll showing 63 per cent of voters think the PM should resign. 

Labour also had a four-point lead in the Redfield & Wilton poll, the largest since the 2019 general election. 

At a downbeat Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said the new restrictions were a ‘proportionate and responsible’ reaction to a surge in Omicron cases. 

But he faced accusations that he had accelerated the move to Plan B restrictions in order to shift the news agenda away from public outrage over claims that No10 staff held a Christmas party last December in defiance of tough lockdown rules.

William Wragg, Tory chairman of the Commons public administration committee, called the move a ‘diversionary tactic’. Other MPs asked how the Government could expect people to abide by Covid rules when No10 staff were accused of recklessly breaking them.

Many Conservative backbenchers were also furious over the likely economic impact of the new curbs, with some even heckling Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the Commons to shouts of ‘resign’.

The public appeared to have already voted with their feet today as pictures showed London stations eerily quiet. 

In signs of Cabinet tensions, Sajid Javid this morning dismissed a hint from the PM that mandatory vaccination might be looked at in future, saying that would be 'ethically wrong'

In signs of Cabinet tensions, Sajid Javid this morning dismissed a hint from the PM that mandatory vaccination might be looked at in future, saying that would be ‘ethically wrong’

At a Downing Street press conference last night, the PM declared that people should once again work from home where possible, as well as extending use of masks and introducing Covid passports for nightclubs

At a Downing Street press conference last night, the PM declared that people should once again work from home where possible, as well as extending use of masks and introducing Covid passports for nightclubs

The public appeared to have already voted with their feet today as pictures showed London stations eerily quiet

The public appeared to have already voted with their feet today as pictures showed London stations eerily quiet

Canada Water Tube station looked less busy than usual after the PM announced restrictions to combat the Omicron strain

Canada Water Tube station looked less busy than usual after the PM announced restrictions to combat the Omicron strain 

The leaked video of No10 staff rehearsing for a press conference that detonated the Christmas party row 

In the bombshell video a No 10 aide asks a question about 'a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night', to which Allegra Stratton laughed and replied: 'I went home.' Downing Stree

In the bombshell video a No 10 aide asks a question about ‘a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night’, to which Allegra Stratton laughed and replied: ‘I went home.’ Downing Stree

Downing Street’s had hoped that the row over the alleged lockdown-busting Christmas party a year ago was fading away.

But the situation escalated dramatically when ITV News was leaked footage from a mock press conference.

It shows the PM’s aides putting his then-press secretary Allegra Stratton through her paces. She had been preparing to start hosting televised briefings for journalists weeks later – although that idea was embarrassingly shelved.

And damagingly one of the questions thrown at her during the session on December 22 referenced the ‘party’ four days earlier.   

Ed Oldfield (PM’s special adviser): ‘I’ve just seen reports on Twitter that there was a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night, do you recognise those reports?’

Allegra Stratton: ‘I went home (laughs)… hold on, hold on, erm, err…’

Ed Oldfield: ‘Would the Prime Minister condone having a Christmas party?’

Allegra Stratton: ‘(laughs) What’s the answer?’

Ed Oldfield: ‘I don’t know!’

Downing Street Employee (unidentified): ‘It wasn’t a party… it was cheese and wine.’

Allegra Stratton: ‘Is cheese and wine alright? It was a business meeting.’

(Everyone laughs)

Downing Street Employee: ‘No! … was joking!’

Allegra Stratton: ‘(laughs) This is recorded. This fictional party was a business meeting… (laughs) and it was not socially distanced. Umm one more and then we’ll… one more. Anybody have any questions today?’

Questioned in a round of interviews this morning over whether it makes sense to instruct staff to work from home but go to parties and other social events, Mr Javid said: ‘I think it is proportionate, actually, when you look at these measures, whether it is the working-from-home guidance, the rules around face masks, the NHS Covid pass, and all of these.

‘It is a real sort of spectrum of response that you can have.

‘It could be guidance, you could have Covid passes clearly in more settings, you could have face masks in more settings, but you have to take a balanced decision that takes into account a number of factors and, of course, the key here is to slow the spread of the new variant, and these measures will help do that.’

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We, of course, keep them under review, but they will have a significant impact in slowing the spread of the variant.’

Economic experts have criticised the restrictions ahead of the crucial pre-Christmas period, warning they could cost the economy £4billion a month and ‘easily’ knock two per cent off the size of the economy. 

The hospitality industry said Plan B will kill off festive trade – a period when pubs, nightclubs and restaurants make a third of their annual profits. There are calls for a return to furlough and cash grants for restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars.

Clive Wilson, Chairman of The City Pub Company, said together with rising energy costs and other pressures he expected to price of a pint to rise by around 40p.

‘For restaurants and the late night economy – a third of your profit is made in December. People have described this as a body blow – it’s more than that – it’s taking off the life support machine yet again,’ he said.

‘And I notice that the Chancellor is not providing any further state aid. 

‘The current state aid is not enough. Please please give us that enhanced state aid to help us get through those leaner months otherwise a lot of businesses in our sector will run out of cash.’

Economic experts also criticised the move ahead of the crucial pre-Christmas period, warning they could cost the economy £4 billion a month and ‘easily’ knock 2 per cent off the size of the economy.  

Lord Sugar tweeted that the Prime Minister must be removed from office, saying: ‘Plan B. Boris is mental. Work from home but you can go to nightclubs and football matches if you are double vax. The man must go. Correct me if I am wrong but I have not heard of any one who had to go to hospital with this new strain let alone die. Small BIZ will collapse’.

Among the latest dramatic events: 

  • Ms Stratton resigned from her £125,000-a-year job; 
  • The PM asked Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to investigate the party allegations and warned of disciplinary action; 
  • Scotland Yard said its officers would be taking no action ‘at this stage’; 
  • Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross suggested the PM would have to quit if his claim that no party was held proved to be untrue; 
  • Hospitality trade leaders warned that Plan B could deliver a £2billion a month economic hit; 
  • It emerged that the new Covid rules will not be reviewed until January 5; 
  • Ministers eased ‘Pingdemic’ rules to allow people to take daily tests rather than self-isolate.

In the Commons last night, Mr Harper said the evidence on the spread of Omicron, which has yet to hospitalise a single person in the UK, simply ‘doesn’t support the introduction of these measures’.

He told MPs: ‘Over the past couple of weeks the Government’s credibility, whether it’s on Paterson or on the Christmas parties, has taken a hit. 

‘Why should people at home, listening to the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary, do things that people working in No10 are not prepared to do?’

Fellow Tory Philip Davies criticised the ‘latest in a long line of arbitrary, unnecessary, socialist measures’ and suggested Mr Javid had ‘gone native’.

The Covid clampdown came just hours after the PM issued a rare apology over a leaked video that showed his former press secretary Allegra Stratton and other No10 aides appearing to laugh and joke about the alleged Christmas party during a mock press conference.

The video infuriated relatives of Covid victims who pointed out they had been unable to visit their dying loved ones under lockdown rules in place at the time when No10 staff were partying.

Mr Johnson yesterday repeated his claim that no rules had been broken.

But Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientist, appeared to take a swipe at No 10’s conduct when they stood alongside Mr Johnson last night imploring people to follow the restrictions.

Sir Patrick said: ‘The rules are quite carefully thought through … and they’re there for everybody to stick to.’

Professor Whitty added: ‘We all know that people get very angry, including colleagues and friends, when they feel that it’s unfair.’

At a stormy session of Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Mr Johnson issued a rare apology for the Christmas party video row, saying he was ‘furious’ to see the clip of No 10 aides ‘seeming to make light of lockdown measures’.

He added: ‘I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country, and I apologise for the impression that it gives.’ ‘But I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured.’

No 10 said that it was ‘categorically untrue’ to suggest the move to Plan B had been accelerated to divert attention from the disastrous coverage of alleged rule-breaking by the PM’s staff.

Mr Johnson also insisted that the emerging evidence about the rapid spread of the virus had left him with no choice but to move now: ‘You’ve got to act to protect public health when you’ve got the clear evidence. The best way to ensure we all have a Christmas as close to normal as possible is to get on with Plan B. Irritating though it may be, it is not a lockdown.’

He also said that the best way to avoid a huge wave of the virus next month was for people to follow the new rules and get their booster jabs.

A Whitehall source last night said the introduction of Plan B was designed to slow the spread of the new variant and shift the expected peak next month back to February or March, by which time many more people will have had their booster jabs.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister’s apology ‘raises more questions than answers’ because he had been ‘caught red-handed’.

He added: ‘Millions of people now think the Prime Minister was taking them for fools, that they were lied to.’

Wes Streeting, Labour’s health spokesman, said Labour supported the new restrictions as being ‘in the national interest’, meaning they will almost certainly be approved in the Commons.

But Mr Johnson is certain to face a Tory backlash when MPs vote on the measures on Tuesday while party members have threatened to quit.

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