Boris Johnson Calls Cabinet to Meet as Pressure Builds on Him Amid Leaked Plans

Boris Johnson will chair a cupboard meeting later as he attempts to shift the main target from a series of claims and questions over his conduct.

Among them is an accusation the PM once said he would rather see “bodies pile high” than approve the third lockdown.

Mr. Johnson and No 10 strongly denied he said the phrase because the PM described multiple reports as “total rubbish”.

The prime minister is also facing mounting pressure over the cost of redecorating his Downing Street flat.

Downing Street refused to say whether Mr. Johnson received a loan from the Conservative Party to pay for renovations, but said any “gifts or benefits” would be declared in the ministerial transparency registers.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth told that Mr. Johnson had not explained how the renovation was being funded.

“If he wanted to convince the country that he has acted entirely above reproach, he should give us that full and frank explanation – but thus far he’s refused to do it,” Mr. Ashworth said.

Asked about the funding, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told: “The only thing I do know is that the prime minister has said that he purchased the expenses of redecoration.”

On Monday, the prime minister was asked whether he said he would rather see “bodies pile high” than approve the third lockdown. He responded saying “No, but I feel the important thing I feel people want us to urge on and do as a government is to form sure that the lockdowns work.”

Mr. Johnson is predicted to use the cupboard meeting to emphasize the importance of ministers that specialize in everyday concerns, instead of the noise at Westminster, A political correspondent Chris Mason said.

The cabinet meeting will provide a chance for senior ministers to wrestle back control of the political agenda after a series of damaging allegations made by Mr. Johnson’s former chief aide Dominic Cummings last week.

No 10 said the cupboard would be told to specialize in “jabs and jobs”.

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