Boris Johnson's position 'hangs by a thread' says Jones
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A former advisor to Prime Minister Theresa May has argued that Boris Johnson’s political career is “hanging by a thread” over allegations Downing Street hosted a Christmas Party while London was in tier 3 lockdown rules. Joey Jones told LBC that the Prime Minister’s performance at PMQs on Wednesday was crucial, adding that Mr Johnson’s “entire career and reputation is absolutely on the line.” He went to say: “If I was one of the people in that cheese and wine gathering I’d have no confidence my colleagues would stick by me.”
Mr Jones told LBC: “I really don’t know what the Prime Minister can do, given that his story and the story that he’s told his government colleagues to go out with over the past few days appears to be in tatters.
“He’s going to have to stand up in the House of Commons at lunchtime and of course, Keir Starmer will do his Director of Public Prosecutions bit and he will say, Prime Minister, you’re on the record, you’re in the House of Commons, was there a party a Downing Street.
“Of course if he says something that’s not true then his entire career and reputation is absolutely on the line
“So Boris Johnson’s instincts have always been to brazen things out when there is some doubt over stories around you know, who paid for his Downing Street flat, or his holiday and all the rest of it.”
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He added: “I mean, the problem is that as I say, it’s his career, his position, that hangs by a thread based on what he says at lunchtime today.
The former government adviser likened the row to a “crime drama.”
Mr Jones told LBC the alleged Christmas event was like: “Where a group of people commit a crime and then their ability to get away with it depends on all of them sticking together.
“And that unity is breaking down now because we’re getting people leaking videos, leaking letters, leaking to journalists left, right and centre.
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“If I was one of the individuals that was in that cheese and wine gathering, I would have no confidence that my colleagues were going to stick by me and that’s when the whole thing falls apart.”
It comes after Tory grandee Sir Roger Gale suggested Boris Johnson can expect an ultimatum from the head of the 1922 Committee to stand down if he fails to address the Downing Street Christmas party row appropriately at PMQs.
Sir Roger told BBC News: “If it is the fact that [Boris Johnson] has misled Parliament deliberately, and that is a hanging offence.”
He added: “I think the chairman of the 1922 committees so Graham Brady, would have to carry a very clear message to the Prime Minister under those circumstances.”
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“Meaning the game’s up,” continued the Tory Grandee.
A video has emerged from Downing Street showing the Prime Ministers’s then spokesperson Allegra Stratton laughing with colleagues about a No.10 event at which there was “definitely no social distancing”.
The leaked footage appears to be from a rehearsal for Downing Street’s planned televised news briefings which never went ahead.
Ms Stratton can be heard jokingly referring to there having been “cheese and wine” after being asked a mock question about a Christmas Party by pressroom staff.
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