As Boris Johnson’s future as Prime Minister is looking increasingly shaky following Sue Gray’s reported conclusions on ‘Partygate’, five of his most trusted aides have resigned since last night (Thursday):
Munira Mirza, Head of Policy, was Mr Johnson’s right hand woman – sometimes described as “Boris’s brain” and had worked with Johnson since he became Mayor of London in 2008.
Referring to Mr Johnson’s false claim earlier this week, that Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer MP failed to prosecute serial sex offender Jimmy Savile when he was director of public prosecutions, she said:
"It was an inappropriate and partisan reference to a horrendous case of child sex abuse."
Jack Doyle, Director of Communications and former Daily Mail journalist.
Martin Reynolds, Principal Private Secretary.
Dan Rosenfield, Chief of Staff.
Elena Narozanski, Policy Advisor.
It is unclear if and how many will follow today, while it is also being reported that the number of letters to the Conservatives’ backbench 1922 Committee is slowly edging closer towards the 54 required to trigger a leadership contest.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has also been called out on his - completely unrelated - factual misrepresentation regarding the number of people in work in the UK.
On Wednesday during Prime Minister’s Questions, he claimed for the sixth time since 24 November that there were "more people in work now than before the pandemic began", one day after receiving a letter from Ed Humpherson, Director General for at the Office for Statistics Regulation, advising it was "incorrect to state that there were more people in work at the end of this period than the start".
Mr Humpherson wrote:
“While Mr Johnson claims an increase based on payroll data, the Office for National Statistics publishes data on the number of people in employment.
“The data for January – March 2020 estimate that 33 million people were in employment compared with 32.5 million people in employment for September – November 2021. It’s therefore incorrect to state that there were more people in work at the end of this period than the start.”
He expressed his disappointment that Mr Johnson:
"Continued to refer to payroll employment as if describing total employment, despite contact from our office and from others".
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“It’s been another typical week in the life of Boris Johnson – and all of his own making.
“Instead of atoning for his awful oversights by standing down, he tried to deflect by spuriously claiming Sir Keir Starmer failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile; he tried to backtrack by claiming that’s not what he meant; he tried for the sixth time to embellish employment figures – and failed.
“We have come to expect the worst from a Prime Minister so devoid of a moral compass, and the tragedy is that Scotland is dependent on Tory politicians to get rid of him internally.
“Meanwhile, people across Scotland and the UK are suffering from rising bills, rising inflation and rising taxes.
“It’s long past the time for him to go!”