Oris Johnson faces a decisive week before the long-awaited release of Sue Gray’s partygate report.
Many Conservative MPs have said they will wait to see the findings before deciding whether to push for a confidence vote that could force him to resign.
At the same time, the prime minister is fighting back against accusations of Islamophobia after MP Nusrat Ghani claimed she was told she had been sacked as junior minister due to concerns about her “Muslimity”.
In a sign of tensions within the party, whip boss Mark Spencer, who has admitted speaking to Ms Ghani, angrily denied her claims, saying they were “completely false” and “defamatory”.
A spokesman for No 10 confirmed on Monday that the prime minister had asked the Cabinet Office to carry out an investigation into the allegations made.
Follow the live updates below.
When will Sue Gray publish her report?
The long-awaited report investigating alleged Downing Street parties is expected to be published this week, although the date is not confirmed.
Boris Johnson’s former aide, Dominic Cummings, is believed to give his testimony to the official handling the investigation, Sue Gray, on Monday.
Ms Gray, who is currently a permanent secretary in the Cabinet Office, is investigating a series of explosive claims about lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street during the pandemic.
The outcome of the report could threaten Johnson’s position as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party.
PM visits vaccination training center in Milton Keynes on Monday
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited a coronavirus vaccination training center at Milton Keynes University Hospital in Buckinghamshire on Monday.
He was seen talking to hospital staff, where he chose to wear a face covering.
It comes amid what is likely to be a difficult week for the prime minister, ahead of the expected release of Sue Gray’s partygate report later this week.
France’s controversial vaccine pass comes into effect
In France, all adults must now show a pass showing they are fully vaccinated against Covid to visit cafes, restaurants and cinemas, and to board intercity trains.
A proof of a negative test will no longer suffice.
Opponents of the plan say it violates the principles of equality and freedom, and people’s individual choice over vaccines.
Some 38,000 people protested yesterday against the step in France, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
Less than 10 percent of the French population is still not vaccinated with two doses.
UK economy growth this month slowest since lockdown measures were implemented
Growth in the UK economy this month is forecast to have been the slowest since lockdown measures were implemented last spring, according to an initial reading of a closely watched index.
The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Flash Composite PMI report came in at 53.4 in January so far, marking an 11-month low.
It reflected a further slowdown after reading 53.6 for December.
Scores above 50 represent growth, while anything below that is contraction, meaning the UK private sector continued to expand during the quarter despite a slight slowdown in activity.
Long Covid: Nearly two million days lost to NHS staff absences in England
NHS trusts in England lost almost two million days in staff absences due to long Covid in the first 18 months of the pandemic, according to figures revealing the hidden burden of disease ongoing in the health service.
MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on coronavirus estimate that healthcare workers lost more than 1.82 million days with prolonged Covid from March 2020 to September 2021 across England’s 219 NHS trusts.
Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP who chairs the APPG, said the government “paid almost no attention to the long Covid and the severe impact it was having on vital public services” and called for immediate support for those affected.
Raising NI to pay for social care is ‘the right thing to do’, says minister
Increasing national insurance contributions to pay for social care is “the right thing to do”, according to a cabinet minister, as calls for a review of the tax increase mount.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the move “would create an adult social care system that is sustainable and viable without breaking up families.”
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s really important to focus on just why we’re doing this, why I think it’s the right thing to do, because it will ultimately create a system of social care for adults that is sustainable and achievable.” without breaking up families.”
Pressed by suggestions that the move could “shock” the economy and prevent the tax increase from raising the expected amounts, Zahawi responded: “I think the Treasury has done the job on this and it’s the right thing to do.
“Of course, we will make sure to review any policies we introduce; if it doesn’t work, we’ll analyze it. I absolutely think it’s the right thing to do.”
From April 2022, Social Security contributions will increase by 1.25% and will be spent on the NHS and social care in the UK.
Millions of Londoners, including civil servants, were urged today to rev up the city’s economy to get it back to “full speed”.
Cabinet Minister Steve Barclay issued the appeal on the first Monday since the guidance for working from home was abandoned.
He told the Standard: “Now that we are learning to live with Covid and have lifted the Plan B measures, it is time to get back to full speed in all parts of Whitehall as well as London.”
Read the full report here from our political editor Nicholas Cecil.
WHO chief says ‘we still have a long way to go’ with pandemic
A World Health Organization chief says “there is still a long way to go” with the pandemic.
Asked if the end of the pandemic is in sight for countries in Europe, Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy for Covid-19, told Sky News: “The end is in sight.” the view, but how long will it take? to get there?
“What kind of difficulties will we face along the way? Those are the questions that none of us can answer because this virus keeps giving us challenges and surprises.”
He added: “It’s like we’re passing the half-marathon mark and we can see that yes, there is a finish and the fast runners are passing us.
“But we still have a long, long way to go and it’s going to be tough.”
Some Brits are removed from the embassy in Ukraine – Foreign Office
Some British staff and their dependents are being withdrawn from the embassy in Ukraine in response to the growing threat from Russia, the Foreign Office said.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office stressed that the British embassy in Kiev “remains open and will continue to carry out essential work.”
Hours earlier, the United States ordered the families of all US embassy staff in the capital to leave Ukraine amid growing fears of a Russian invasion.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said there is a “very significant” risk of Russia staging an invasion of Ukraine.
The UK has accused President Vladimir Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow leader in Ukraine.
Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani welcomes Islamophobia inquiry
Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani has said she “welcomes” the Cabinet Office investigation into allegations that she was sacked as a junior minister because of her “Muslimity”.
He said he wanted the matter “taken seriously”, adding that the investigation should “include everything that was said in Downing Street and by The Whip”.
His full statement: “As I said to the Prime Minister last night, all I want is for this to be taken seriously and investigated.
“I appreciate your decision to do that now.
“The terms of reference for the investigation must include everything that was said in Downing Street and by the whip.
“I look forward to seeing the terms of reference.”