Boris Johnson ‘wobbly’ over tax hike plans as No. 10 awaits Sue Gray report

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The prime minister is under pressure from some Conservative MPs to scrap the tax increase to win back support as he awaits the findings of the highly anticipated report by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

The Times quoted a government source as saying that Johnson was considering delaying promotion for a year as “red meat” for his right-wing critics in the party.

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They reportedly said: “He is reeling, I think he would do anything to survive.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wears a face mask during a visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales. Picture date: Thursday January 27, 2022.

It comes as the prime minister tried to dismiss allegations that he personally intervened in airlifting animals out of Afghanistan when thousands of people who wanted to flee the Taliban were left behind.

Accused of lying, the prime minister tried to defend himself against claims that he helped approve the evacuation of cats and dogs with Kabul’s Nowzad charity.

But while he was speaking on Thursday, more leaked correspondence was published, suggesting then-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and No 10 were involved in the decision.

On the subject of the national insurance increase, another source is reported to have told The Times: “It seems [Johnson] he’s backing down due to the pressure he’s under at partygate.

“He has never been popular with the right wing of the party and it is the group that Boris is most worried about. Treasury’s view is that Johnson should control his nerves.”

The Guardian reported that the Treasury was increasingly alarmed that the prime minister may be preparing to scrap the tax increase in a bid to save his job.

Defense Minister James Heappey told the BBC’s Question Time: “You will realize that the top government is listening at the moment.

“There are a lot of people who have good salaries who are starting to worry about how they are going to make ends meet and the government is trying to address that. We will have to do a lot in the next few years to help people with this.”

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A host of senior Conservatives, along with businesses, have called for the proposed 1.25 percentage point increase to be scrapped in the face of cost-of-living pressures, with inflation at its highest in 30 years and the cap on price of energy due to an increase in the spring.

The Daily Mail reported that undecided rebels have been urging Johnson to abandon the planned walk to win back their support for his handling of the Downing Street party allegations.

But Johnson said on Thursday that the tax increase was “absolutely vital” as “every penny will go towards fixing Covid delays and also towards social care”.

Asked to ensure the increase would still come into effect in April, the prime minister’s official spokesman said there were “no plans to delay the tax”.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s wait for the results of the official investigation into the alleged lockdown parties at No 10 and Whitehall is another day.

The long-awaited document from civil servant Sue Gray could be critical to the Prime Minister’s future, but it has yet to be submitted to issue 10, and will be scrutinized by legal and human resources officials before it can be sent to Downing Street for approval. publication.

The announcement of a Scotland Yard investigation into some of the alleged parties, based in part on evidence uncovered in Gray’s investigation, has complicated the process, with police and officials bickering over anything that could harm a criminal case.

The Prime Minister traveled to North Wales on Thursday rather than wait at Number 10 for Mrs Gray’s report to arrive.

Asked if he had been involved in delaying it, Johnson told reporters: “Absolutely not, but they need to let the independent investigations continue.”

The House of Commons adjourned on Thursday with no sign of either the report or a statement from Mr Johnson.

The Prime Minister has promised to make a statement to MPs once he has received the report and this remains a possibility on Friday, despite the fact that there is no Government business scheduled in the House.

But Ms Gray’s report, which was nearly complete, has been delayed by the legal checks she is now undergoing, raising the possibility that the process will drag on into next week.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Thursday that she expected the report to be released in full but could not say when it would be made public.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told the PA news agency: “Sue Gray’s report must be published in full and as soon as possible.

“And I mean in its entirety, not redacted, not edited, not a summary, not omitted parts. In its whole.”

He said that after the sacrifices made by the British public during the pandemic “the least they are entitled to is the truth about what the Prime Minister was doing.”

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle also told the PA news agency: “Of course I hope the report is printed in full, I hope MPs will be able to read it before the statement.

“I want them to be informed, to ask the right questions and to have a debate and challenge the Prime Minister, who quite rightly said ‘I’m going to the House of Commons, I’m going to go first.’

“Well, let’s make sure that either the opposition or the government MPs see that statement before it’s made.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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