Johnson maxes out his credit with Tory MPs: ‘It’s 19 July and I really mean it this time’

Fresh from his Cornish beach minibreak, PM returns to face Covid reality – and his furious backbenchers It hardly came as a massive shock. Indeed, given the surge in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks, the surprise would have been if Boris Johnson had chosen to relax all remaining lockdown restrictions in England on […]

Fixing NHS waiting times could cost £40bn, leaked No 10 estimates show

Downing Street thinks spending can wait because public not ‘distressed’ about long delays yet, source says Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Boris Johnson may have to spend up to £40bn to try to repair NHS waiting times and end the long delays being faced by patients, according to unpublished Downing Street […]

Dominic Cummings promises No 10 revelations in paid-for newsletter

PM’s former top aide to offer some Substack posts for free and charge for access to extra features such as Q&A sessions Dominic Cummings is planning to publish a paid-for newsletter in which subscribers can learn about his time inside Downing Street. Boris Johnson’s former top aide has launched a profile on Substack, a platform […]

Cummings fails to provide evidence to back up dishonesty claim

Former aide to Boris Johnson had promised to give documents to Commons committee Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Dominic Cummings has failed to provide evidence to substantiate his allegations that senior cabinet ministers mishandled the coronavirus pandemic that he had promised to provide to a parliamentary inquiry. Critics of the government […]

Boris Johnson prefers not to use term ‘special relationship’, says No 10

Spokesperson confirms PM not a fan of phrase recently used by Joe Biden to describe ties between UK and US It is a phrase credited to Winston Churchill – and the state of it has been a source of endless anxiety for a string of prime ministers. But not, it seems, for Boris Johnson. Downing […]

Lindsay Hoyle shows he’s not a complete pushover. He’s just a bit of a one

Speaker did not accept amendment on foreign aid, instead opting for a vote that would not be legally binding Lindsay Hoyle is learning how to work an audience. When the Speaker announced that he would not be accepting Andrew Mitchell’s amendment to restore the government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas […]

EU to make Northern Ireland concessions but says patience is ‘wearing thin’

Brussels points to UK’s repeated failure to live up to its obligations but will offer concessions in effort to find solution Brussels is preparing to make concessions over Northern Ireland but has warned Lord Frost ahead of a key meeting that the EU’s “patience is wearing thin” over the UK government’s repeated failure to fulfil […]

The Tory rebellion on aid shows Johnson’s support is a mile wide and an inch deep | Katy Balls

The government has been taken by surprise by a disparate alliance led by a string of former ministers When Tory MPs went public this week with their plans to thwart Boris Johnson’s decision to cut foreign aid, Downing Street was caught by surprise. While tensions have been bubbling ever since the plan to reduce the […]

No UK Covid deaths announced for first time in 10 months

News raises optimism in No 10 for unlocking despite warnings from scientists over third wave Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK has reported no deaths from Covid in a day, for the first time in 10 months, raising optimism in Downing Street that England could forge ahead with the final […]

France, Italy and Germany vie for post-Brexit deals with UK

Talks on defence are first signs UK is willing to forge positive bilateral relations with its European partners France, Italy and Germany, the three leading European powers, are each trying to reach bilateral post-Brexit agreements with the UK, after Britain said it was not interested in closer security and foreign policy cooperation with the EU. […]

He came. He spoke. But what will Cummings’s explosive claims mean?

Tories have closed ranks against the PM’s aide. But privately, many know the party is living in fear of further bombshells Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage After more than two and a half hours of extraordinary testimony from Dominic Cummings to a Commons committee last Wednesday morning, Greg Clark, the former […]

Angela Rayner demands detailed answers on Boris Johnson’s refurb

Labour’s deputy leader says it is ‘scarcely believable’ PM did not know who funded work on flat Labour has demanded that the full details of how Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat renovation was funded are released after he was cleared of breaching the ministerial code. Deputy leader Angela Rayner has written to Christopher Geidt, the […]

Boris Johnson acted unwisely over flat refurbishment, report finds

Adviser on ministers’ interests says prime minister was initially unaware Tory peer was paying for works Boris Johnson “unwisely” embarked on a refurbishment of his official Downing Street flat without knowing how it would be paid for, according to a report that found a “significant failing” by officials. The Tory peer and party donor David […]

Boris Johnson raised human rights issues at Orbán meeting, says No 10

British PM criticised for hosting rightwing Hungarian leader seen as ally of Vladimir Putin Boris Johnson raised “significant concerns” about media freedoms and human rights with Viktor Orbán, No 10 has said, after sustained criticism of the prime minister’s decision to meet the Hungarian leader. Prior to the meeting in Downing Street, Orbán had insisted […]

Dominic Cummings stars in his own jaw-dropping, grubby, delusional miniseries

Dom’s hearing was certainly entertaining, but families of the bereaved deserved better than politically-honed truths Not so much a parliamentary hearing, more an eight-hour Netflix miniseries. The one where a lone delusional narcissist drives into town to take revenge on a whole bunch of other delusional narcissists. With a bit of Independence Day and Spider-Man […]

The Guardian view on Cummings’ testimony: a vivid portrait of failure | Editorial

Boris Johnson’s former adviser is not the most reliable narrator, but his damning account of the prime minister’s flaws is supported by all the evidence A year ago, Dominic Cummings gave a press conference from the garden of 10 Downing Street to explain why he, as the prime minister’s most powerful adviser, should be allowed […]

UK hits back at Von der Leyen over Northern Ireland protocol

European Commission president says Brexit rather than protocol is disrupting trade across Irish sea Downing Street has hit back at Ursula von der Leyen’s “disappointing” lack of recognition of the anger in Northern Ireland and of the EU’s duty to ease tensions after the European Commission president blamed Brexit for recent problems. Following a summit […]

‘Horrific’ cuts in pipeline for English universities and students

Treasury fights with No 10 over options to reduce student loan burden Vice-chancellors in England say they are bracing for steep cuts in funding to be announced later this year, as the Treasury and No 10 battle over proposals to lower the government’s exposure to unpaid student loans, which are growing at about £10bn a […]

If Dominic Cummings has proof he didn’t go to Durham twice, he could show it now

Analysis: a year after the Guardian’s original story, much about Johnson’s adviser’s trip north remains unclear Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage When the Guardian and the Mirror revealed that Dominic Cummings had travelled to Durham and Barnard Castle during the first lockdown, our stories were dismissed by Downing Street as a […]

Nurse who cared for Boris Johnson resigns over ‘lack of respect’ for NHS workers

Jenny McGee, who kept vigil by PM’s bedside when he was sick with Covid, derides government’s handling of pandemic A nurse who cared for Boris Johnson when he was gravely ill with Covid-19 says she has handed in her resignation, such is her disillusionment with the “lack of respect” shown by the government for the […]

Boris Johnson’s county court judgment actually made me feel sorry for him | Zoe Williams

The prime minister’s alleged £535 debt could have affected every aspect of his financial life. I discovered that the hard way a long time ago It was a piece of singular brilliance from Private Eye to do a speculative search on county court judgments (CCJs) and see if the prime minister’s name turned up. Imagine […]

Why is the UK slashing its international aid budget? – podcast

Boris Johnson’s government has blamed the Covid crisis for its decision to cut its international aid budget, but is there more to it? When David Cameron rose to become Conservative party leader, he set about identifying totemic policies that would show his party was changing. As well as promoting new thinking on the environment, he […]

Boris Johnson’s county court judgment set aside after No 10 appeal

Downing Street says £535 debt for alleged defamation has been struck out and deemed totally without merit Boris Johnson no longer has a county court judgment against him after Downing Street got a claim for a £535 debt for alleged defamation set aside. No 10 said the claim against the prime minister had been “totally […]

Boris Johnson to apply to have court judgment struck out, says No 10

PM’s spokesperson says judgment issued in October over £535 unpaid debt is ‘totally without merit’ A county court debt judgment issued against Boris Johnson is “totally without merit” and the prime minister will apply to have it struck out, Downing Street has said, with officials believing the process could have been started maliciously. The statement […]

UK cuts grants for small aid charities to save ‘less than cost of No 10 press room’

Hospital in Zanzibar and support for child workers in Bangladesh among approved projects to miss out as £2.1m of funding cancelled The UK has scrapped three rounds of grants to small international development charities, prompting fury that it has wiped out funding for 42 projects around the world to save “less than the [£2.6m] cost […]

Senior Tory says Boris Johnson should resign if he breached ministerial rules

Leader of Scottish Conservatives says PM should ‘of course’ quit if he has not been honest about payments for Downing Street refurb One of the UK’s most senior Conservatives has broken ranks and called for Boris Johnson to resign if he breached ministerial rules over the refurbishment of a Downing Street flat, amid new claims […]

Why sleaze investigations are becoming more menacing for Boris Johnson | Andrew Rawnsley

Number 10 is beginning to panic now that independent interrogators are in pursuit of the truth I will bet you the price of a roll of gold wallpaper that you will be able to say who paid when you last had the decorators in. If there was any reason you had to prove that it […]

Labour hopes Tory sleaze will lift its ‘red wall’ vote. In Dudley, they’re not so sure

The party aims to come back strongly in the West Midlands. But Boris Johnson seems relatively unscathed by scandal “The only thing I’ve heard is something about wallpaper,” says Simon Bennett, who is busy unloading a box of petunias at the fruit, veg and flower stall he helps run in Dudley market. To him all […]

Tory poll lead slashed as key elections loom across Britain

Stories of Conservative sleaze appear to be having an impact as Keir Starmer faces his first electoral test as Labour leader on 6 May Labour has slashed the Tories’ poll lead in half as more voters conclude that Boris Johnson is corrupt and dishonest ahead of this week’s bumper set of local and devolved elections. […]