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Boris Johnson covid announcement – PM ‘may reveal he’s dropping Plan B THIS WEEK’ as ally insists he’s ‘safe in his job’

War NewsBoris Johnson covid announcement - PM 'may reveal he's dropping Plan B THIS WEEK' as ally insists he's 'safe in his job'

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BORIS Johnson “is safe in his job”, a Cabinet ally has insisted, despite fury over “partygate” – amid hopes Plan B will be lifted within days by the PM.

This morning Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi insisted Mr Johnson was staying put.

On the third time of asking if the PM is “safe in his job” the top Tory said: “Yes, he is, because he’s human and we make mistakes. And, actually, he came to the despatch box and apologised and said he will absolutely submit himself to Parliament, because that’s our parliamentary democracy.”

Mr Zahawi, who himself has been tipped as a future leader, dismissed suggestions of a concerted plan to save his boss’ career. 

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson will announce THIS WEEK whether he is ditching Plan B restrictions, Downing Street hinted today.

The PM is widely expected to drop working from home guidance and vaccine passports when the measures expire next Wednesday – but masks could stay.

Oliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, said the “signs are encouraging” that Plan B rules will be relaxed within a matter of weeks, including an end to work from home guidance and the axing of covid passports.

Read our covid live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • WFH and vaccine passports to be DROPPED in just 9 days

    Brits will be able to go back to the office and attend mass events like the footy without showing their vaccination status or a negative test.

    But the requirement to wear face coverings in many public places like trains, buses, and shops is set to remain until Omicron cases dip further.

    Two senior Cabinet ministers have dropped the strongest hints yet that the PM is preparing to end the Plan B restrictions next week.

    Today the education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said “the numbers are looking positive” in the UK’s fight against Covid.

    He added: “I’m confident that when we review this on January 26 then we’ll be in a much better place to lift some of these restrictions.

    “I think we are witnessing the transition of this virus from pandemic to endemic.

    “I hope we’ll be one of the first major economies to demonstrate to the world how you transition this from pandemic to endemic.”

  • Boris ‘is safe in his job’ says Nadhim Zahawi

    The PM is battling to stay in Downing Street following the dripping allegations of Covid rule-breaking and hypocrisy.

    Ahead of a crunch report into parties by Whitehall mandarin Sue Gray, he is planning a charm offensive to win round mutinous Tory MPs.

    Six Conservative backbenchers have publicly confirmed submitting letters of no confidence in the PM. 

    This morning Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi insisted Mr Johnson was staying put.

    On the third time of asking if the PM is “safe in his job” the top Tory said: “Yes, he is, because he’s human and we make mistakes.

    “And, actually, he came to the despatch box and apologised and said he will absolutely submit himself to Parliament, because that’s our parliamentary democracy.”

  • What is included in Labour’s 10 point plan

    Labour’s 10 point plan for living with Covid:

    • Retain volunteer responders to assist with vaccination (next winter)
    • Prioritise testing and make it fit for the future
    • Fix sick pay
    • Playing our part in vaccinating the world
    • Prioritise children’s learning
    • Launch exercises to learn lessons
    • Publish a “road map” for future decision-making
    • Transform the “front door” of the NHS and use Covid’s legacy to build resilience and bring waiting lists down
    • Transform social care
    • Turbo-charge research and innovation
  • ‘The virus will change and adapt and we need to learn to live well with it’

    Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said the proposals were a way of learning to “live well” with coronavirus as it continues to adapt.

    Mr Streeting said: “We’re not out of the woods with Covid-19.

    “The virus will change and adapt and we need to learn to live well with it.

    “For the Government, living with Covid is just an empty slogan with no plan.

    “For some of the fanatics on the Conservative backbenches, living with Covid means letting the virus rip. Both positions are highly irresponsible.”

  • Teens 16 and over can get Covid booster jab TODAY

    More than 600,000 in the age group in England have had their second jab — and will be able to get boosted as they reach three months after the second dose.

    Dr Nikki Kanani, deputy lead for NHS vaccinations, said it would enable the teenagers to “stay at school and continue socialising”.

    Invitations will be sent out this week, with 40,000 eligible from today.

    The NHS said invitations will encourage people in the age group to book their appointment online or to find their nearest walk-in centre.

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We’re now extending the programme to 16 and 17-year-olds so they can top-up their immunity this winter to keep themselves and their friends safe.

    “We can learn to live with Covid-19 if everybody comes forward for their vaccines and gets boosted now

    He added: “More than four in five adults in England have already been boosted, helping to protect them from severe illness and reduce the pressure on the NHS in the face of Omicron.”

  • Masks in classrooms likely to be scrapped in just 9 days

    The education secretary said he doesn’t want the requirement for face coverings at desks to stay “a day longer than necessary”.

    And he insisted No 10 is “confident” the country can start to ditch wider Plan B restrictions from next Wednesday.

    Mr Zahawi said the numbers of Omicron are “looking positive” and that cases across the country seem to be “plateauing”.

    He added that there’s also “really good news” on teacher absences, which have barely risen since before Christmas.

    The education secretary was asked if guidance that masks should be worn in classrooms will be scrapped when Plan B is reviewed on January 6.

    He replied: “I don’t want those to be in the classroom for a day longer than necessary.

    “I know it’s challenging for students to study and to interact with their teacher with masks.

    “I will review it on January 26 and I hope to be able to change the guidance.”

  • Tory MP’s divided

    A fully fledged Tory Party civil war seems to have erupted, as anger over a series of leaks about alleged lockdown parties in Number 10 are engulfing Mr Johnson’s premiership.

    Six Conservative MPs have called for the Prime Minister to quit so far, arguing that a change of senior officials would not reverse the “terminal damage” done to Mr Johnson by the allegations.

    Former children’s minister Tim Loughton, in a post published on Facebook on Saturday, said: “It is not down to a simple Government policy change or a sacking of ministers or officials to put things right.

    “In this case all roads lead back to Downing Street and the person whose name is on the front door.”

    Senior Tory Tobias Ellwood said the Prime Minister must “lead or step aside”, telling the BBC: “We need leadership.”

  • By all the laws of political gravity, Boris Johnson is doomed

    This is a comment piece by Trevor Kavanagh

    BY all the laws of political gravity, Boris is doomed – clinging by his fingertips until Dominic Cummings chooses to finish him off with hobnailed boots.

    Even a barrage of “red meat” policies to tempt unhappy voters is unlikely to save this Prime Minister.

    If so, the most remarkable politician of our age will be paying a high price indeed for a shockingly ill-timed BYOB party.

    It’s all his own fault, of course. He has ducked all the rules of survival, made it up as he went along and refused the best advice from well-meaning allies.
    He will be evicted just as he leads us from the pandemic which almost cost him his life.

    The shortest Downing Street reign in living memory will end as the last Covid shackles are broken and the economy bursts back with the fastest recovery in Europe.

    BoJo’s many enemies in the Tory party and elsewhere, especially the Remainiacs, the Whitehall Blob and the BBC, are already licking their lips.

    They will be joined by ungrateful Red Wall MPs who owe him their unexpected seats in Parliament.

    Their joy may be unconfined. It may also be short lived.

  • PM enlists Royal Navy to stop Channel migrants as he tries to stay in No10

    Boris Johnson is to enlist the Royal Navy to help combat migrant Channel crossings as he launches a policy blitz in a bid to cling on to his job.

    The PM also plans to ban boozing in Downing Street and fire failing advisers as he attempts to draw a line under partygate as part of his “Operation Red Meat” initiative.

    Mr Johnson will also vow to turbo-charge growth across the North and Midlands when he publishes the Government’s long-awaited Levelling Up plan next week.

    Yet former Cabinet ministers said the PM’s populist initiatives do not go far enough to save his skin — and by last night six Tory MPs had gone public to call for him to quit.

    Under Mr Johnson’s drive, the Navy would take over from the Border Force within the next few weeks in the battle to prevent migrants crossing the Channel in small boats to get into the UK.

    Government insiders believe the sight of Navy vessels patrolling will deter people-smuggling gangs from sending dinghies across the stretch.

  • New blow

    In a new blow to the PM, former minister Tim Loughton yesterday became the sixth Tory MP to publicly call for him to quit.

    Former party chairman Lord Kenneth Baker, meanwhile, said the partygate claims were “hanging around Boris’ neck” and predicted that he could be gone in months.

    He said: “I think at some point this year there will be leadership election.”

    Mr Johnson is not expected to be seen out in public again until Wednesday, when he will face the wrath of his MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions.

  • Experts claim Britain has passed Omicron peak

    BRITAIN has passed the Omicron peak and experts reckon the end of the pandemic is now in sight.

    Infections and hospital cases are falling across the country — the first time both measures have dropped since the ultra-contagious Covid variant swept the UK at the end of last year.

    The World Health Organization’s Covid special envoy David Nabarro said Britain could now see “light at the end of the tunnel”.

    And Professor Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia, predicted that life could be back to normal by the summer.

    He said: “Covid will soon be just one of the causes of the common cold and will be a pain in the behind, maybe flaring up in winter.

    “We will need boosters for the most vulnerable but I can’t see widespread mask use or testing being warranted. I think it’s quite plausible that we won’t have any restrictions by summer. That is a reasonably realistic expectation. Ultimately, we will live in a society that this thing circulates quite widely and every few years we’ll get a dose of the cold.”

    Read more here.

  • Long Covid patients also struggle with fainting spells

    Long Covid patients have reportedly also struggled with fainting spells.

    Data from Italy, Spain and Portugal found from more than 14,000 Covid patients 4.2 per cent said they had felt faint or fainted in the early stage of the infection.

    It seems to be affecting people over the age of 60 more frequently.

    It comes as around 20 Omicron symptoms have been revealed as ones you are most likely to get.

    This doesn’t mean there aren’t others that could pop up, but these have been most reported by people who caught the variant.

  • Feeling light-headed may be early Omicron warning symptom

    OMICRON symptoms are different for everyone who catches the variant – with many more than the classic Covid three.

    Some people don’t have any at all, some will only have a few and others might experience a whole range.

    But there are a couple that have popped up time and time again as indicators you could be starting to come down with the virus.

    These have included sore throats, night sweats and headaches as early warning signs.

    And now a new report from Germany has suggested fainting spells could be a sign of Omicron.

    Doctors in Berlin have found a link after a 35-year-old came to hospital suffering recurrent fainting spells – who was then found to have Covid.

  • Education secretary insists PM is staying put

    This morning Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi insisted Mr Johnson was staying put.

    On the third time of asking if the PM is “safe in his job” the top Tory said: “Yes, he is, because he’s human and we make mistakes.

    “And, actually, he came to the despatch box and apologised and said he will absolutely submit himself to Parliament, because that’s our parliamentary democracy.”

    Mr Zahawi, who himself has been tipped as a future leader, dismissed suggestions of a concerted plan to save his boss’ career. 

  • ‘Untrue that PM was warned about event in advance’

    Tonight No10 repeated their insistence that “It is untrue that the Prime Minister was warned about the event in advance.”

    “As he said earlier this week he believed implicitly that this was a work event.

    “He has apologised to the House and is committed to making a further statement once the investigation concludes.”

  • North East reporting highest cases in the UK

    The North East is reporting the highest case numbers in all of the UK, with almost double the case rate (2,015 per 100,000) than London (1,161).

    The region saw a growth in Omicron behind the capital – which bore the brunt of the variant when it first emerged in early December, before it spread across the country.

    But the Government coronavirus dashboard shows that in the North East, cases have been receding for around a week.

  • Omicron ‘disappearing in all parts of UK except one

    OMICRON is “disappearing” across the UK other than one region, with hopes Plan B will be lifted within days.

    The super-mutant strain is losing its grip, data suggest, giving experts cautious optimism.

    Some 208,000 people were catching symptomatic Covid every day at the peak of the wave.

    But this has now reduced to 155,000, according to estimates from the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, which tracks the outbreak using millions of app users’ data.

    Prof Tim Spector, an epidemiologist who leads the research, wrote on Twitter: “Zoe shows Omicron cases disappearing fast all over the U.K. except NEast – down from peak of 208000 to 155000 per day so still high but looking good.”

  • PM enlists Royal Navy to stop Channel migrants as he tries to stay in No10

    Boris Johnson is to enlist the Royal Navy to help combat migrant Channel crossings as he launches a policy blitz in a bid to cling on to his job.

    The PM also plans to ban boozing in Downing Street and fire failing advisers as he attempts to draw a line under partygate as part of his “Operation Red Meat” initiative.

    Mr Johnson will also vow to turbo-charge growth across the North and Midlands when he publishes the Government’s long-awaited Levelling Up plan next week.

    Yet former Cabinet ministers said the PM’s populist initiatives do not go far enough to save his skin — and by last night six Tory MPs had gone public to call for him to quit.

    Under Mr Johnson’s drive, the Navy would take over from the Border Force within the next few weeks in the battle to prevent migrants crossing the Channel in small boats to get into the UK.

    Government insiders believe the sight of Navy vessels patrolling will deter people-smuggling gangs from sending dinghies across the stretch.

  • Keir Starmer refuses to apologise over office beer

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has refused to apologise over images of him drinking beer in an office at a time when coronavirus rules banned indoor socialising.

    Sir Keir insisted no rules were broken while he had a takeaway in a constituency office while working on the election campaign in 2021.

    He repeatedly refused to apologise and was branded a “hypocrite” by a caller during his LBC Radio phone-in show.

    The Labour leader has demanded the resignation of Boris Johnson over No 10 parties held during 2020 when England was locked down.

    Sir Keir was pictured in the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy on April 30 2021 in the run-up to May’s local elections and the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election.

    He said: “The picture of me was in a constituency office up in the North East, it was I think, three or four days before the May elections, so we’re really busy. I was with my team going across the country from place to place. We’re in the office, working in the office and we stopped for a takeaway, and then we carried on working and that is the long and the short of it. There was no breach of the rules. There was no party. And there was absolutely no comparison with the Prime Minister.”

  • UK appears to be moving out of Omicron’s grip

    The UK appears to be moving out of Omicron’s grip, with 70,924 Covid cases were reported yesterday – the lowest daily total in more than a month.

    The last time infections dropped below 70,000 was on December 14 when 59,610 positive tests were recorded.

    It is the third day in a row that the number of people testing positive has fallen below 100,000 in a promising sign the country is moving past the Omicron peak.

  • UK daily Covid cases fall 40% in a week

    THE UK’s daily Covid cases are down on last Monday’s figures by 40 per cent.

    Last week new infections were 142,224 and today they are 84,429, in a huge drop.

    Yesterday 70,924 new infections were reported in 24 hours, with 88 deaths logged.

    This was the lowest figure for a month, after Omicron began to spread throughout the country.

    The last time infections dropped below 70,000 was on December 14 when 59,610 positive tests were recorded.

  • Covid isolation slashed to five days from today

    Major Covid rule changes came in today for Brits in a major boost for struggling businesses.

    People in England who test positive for the virus can now leave isolation after five full days after daily cases more than halved in a fortnight.

    The rule change was confirmed by the Health Secretary last week – after experts had called for isolation to be slashed while the NHS struggles with mass staff absences.

    Fresh research suggested slashing isolation to five days would only result in an extra two in 100 people leaving quarantine while still infectious.

  • What is included in Labour’s 10 point plan

    Labour’s 10 point plan for living with Covid:

    • Retain volunteer responders to assist with vaccination (next winter)
    • Prioritise testing and make it fit for the future
    • Fix sick pay
    • Playing our part in vaccinating the world
    • Prioritise children’s learning
    • Launch exercises to learn lessons
    • Publish a “road map” for future decision-making
    • Transform the “front door” of the NHS and use Covid’s legacy to build resilience and bring waiting lists down
    • Transform social care
    • Turbo-charge research and innovation
  • UK daily Covid cases fall 40% in a week

    THE UK’s daily Covid cases are down on last Monday’s figures by 40 per cent.

    Last week new infections were 142,224 and today they are 84,429, in a huge drop.

    Yesterday 70,924 new infections were reported in 24 hours, with 88 deaths logged.

    This was the lowest figure for a month, after Omicron began to spread throughout the country.

    The last time infections dropped below 70,000 was on December 14 when 59,610 positive tests were recorded.

  • Studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains

    A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

    Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

    The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.



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