A majority of people think Boris Johnson should resign, according to a new poll

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Pressure is building on the prime minister over a series of parties alleged to have taken place last year which broke Covid guidelines

Boris Johnson should resign as prime minister following allegations that a number of parties took place in Downing Street last December, according to a new poll.

Johnson has been widely criticised, even by those in his own party, over reports that several social gatherings were held in Downing Street last year which breached Covid restrictions.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • New opinion polling conducted after reports of the Downing Street parties emerged suggest that a majority of the public think Boris Johnson should resign as prime minister 
  • The poll, carried out by Opinium with 1116 respondents, found that 53% of people think Johnson should resign as leader, compared with just 28% who think he should remain in office
  • Among respondents who said they voted Conservative at the last election, 35% said they now think Johnson should step down 
  • Very few of those polled (9%) believe that a party didn’t take place, as the government has claimed, while 63% think Johnson is not telling the truth about what happened
  • While the only person to resign over the Downing Street parties so far is Allegra Stratton, 58% of those polled think all those who did attend should also resign

What’s been said?

Speaking at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures, and I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules because I was also furious to see that clip.

“I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country, and I apologise for the impression that it gives.

“But I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured.”

Announcing her resignation as a spokesperson for Downing Street after a video which showed her seeming to reference the party in a press conference rehearsal came to light, Allegra Stratton said: “My remarks seemed to make light of the rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey.

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“That was never my intention. I will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and I offer my profound apologies to all of you at home for them.

“Working in government is an immense privilege.

She added: “I tried to do right by you all, to behave with civility and decency and up to the high standards you expect of Number 10.”

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