Boris Johnson has been handed a Jubilee reprieve from the threat of a no confidence vote from mutinous Tories.
Storm clouds have been gathering for the Prime Minister since the publication of Sue Gray’s Partygate report, which revealed the extent of lockdown boozing in No10 and Whitehall.
Conservative MPs appear to have agreed a four-day truce from agitating to oust Mr Johnson amid mounting speculation he could face a no confidence vote as soon as next week.
The Jubilee festivities offer cover to the under-fire PM, who has been trying to win over wavering MPs with Tory-pleasing ideas slashing red tape, a return to grammar schools and bringing back imperial measurements.
But some things were slipped out while the country’s attention was elsewhere.
Scathing report from PM’s ethics chief
Boris Johnson’s ethics chief suggested the PM’s Partygate fine may have broken the ministerial code in a report slipped out this week.
Lord Geidt said there was a “legitimate question” about whether Mr Johnson’s lockdown birthday do in June 2020 broke the ethics rules governing politicians.
In a damning annual report slipped out by No10 on Tuesday night, Lord Geidt demanded Boris Johnson explain himself to the public over whether he thought he had broken the Code.
He said he had repeatedly the Prime Minister to publicly explain why he thought incurring a fixed penalty notice would not be in breach of the code of conduct for ministers – but said: “That advice has not been heeded.”
But in a letter to Lord Geidt, Mr Johnson replied: “Taking account of all the circumstances, I did not breach the code.”
Ministerial code ‘watered down’
The PM was accused of watering down the ministerial code after he quietly issued a new version of the rules governing the top politicians’ conduct.
In his introduction to the previous edition of the code, Mr Johnson said ministers must “uphold the very highest standards of propriety”.
The new introduction says the code should “guide my ministers on how they should act and arrange their affairs”.
But these words that have been stripped from the new edition.
The foreword no longer explicitly mentions the seven Nolan principles of public life – integrity, objectivity, accountability, transparency, honesty and leadership in the public interest.
Tory minister Chris Philp insisted these principles were still contained in the code.
The PM also dismissed calls from his ethics advisor Lord Geidt to be granted power to launch independent investigations.
The Home Office started informing asylum seekers they will be sent to Rwanda this week, with the first flight expected to leave on June 14.
Notices, known as ‘removal directions’, were issued to an unknown number of people seeking sanctuary in Britain, informing them of the date of their forced departure.
It is not known how many people will be on the first flight or what countries they have come from,
Boris Johnson announced the plan to ship asylum seekers to Rwanda in April in a bid to clamp down on the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats.
Any migrants who have arrived “illegally” in dinghies since January 1 will be detained and forced onto charter flights.
The Government has ordered Britain’s last coal-fire power power plants to remain open this winter amid internal warnings over blackouts this winter.
Downing Street confirmed that a request had been made to keep coal power plants running, which had been scheduled to wind down operations by the autumn.
The move raised questions about whether plans to slash carbon emissions were still on track, as the heavily polluting fuel source had been due to be phased out.
A Government spokesman said the request had been made due to the impact of the war in Ukraine and it was still committed to ending coal power use by 2024.