Boris Johnson is reportedly set to lift Plan B coronavirus restrictions in England at the next review as he works to defend his premiership in the face of further allegations from parties in Downing Street.
According to reports, the plan to save his premiership – which involves preparing a list of resignations to save his job, as well as listing his achievements – has been named ‘Operation Big Dog’.
A decision on measures, including COVID passes and work from home guidance, is due on January 26, by which time No 10 is expected to publish a report on allegations of lockdown violations.
According to The Daily Telegraph, restrictions are expected to be lifted – although mask rules may still remain in place – and an announcement could come within a few days.
“There is clearly no other hope at this time,” a source told the newspaper about the end of the restrictions on 26 January.
The health secretary, Sajid Javid, is said to have already decided that Covid passes are no longer necessary as cases have failed to peak at their record high.
A source told The Times: “There was always a very high threshold for the policy and it looks like in a couple of weeks that limit will not be met.”
The British prime minister is working to keep his job amid pressure to break lockdown rules in Downing Street.
He is said to have been making a list of officers to resign for his defense over the Partygate scandal.
Sources told The Independent that his plan – titled “Operation Save Big Dog” – would also include drawing attention to his achievements.
Downing Street declined to comment on the existence of a plan to save Mr Johnson, but when asked about the name “Operation Save Big Dog”, a spokesman said: “We don’t recognize the phrase at all. “
The Daily Telegraph reports that political allies have been recruited to garner support among Tory lawmakers for the Conservative leadership and Mr Johnson’s 2019 campaigns to win the general election.
It also quoted two sources as saying the prime minister spoke this week to political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby, who helped him win London’s mayoralty and Tory leadership.
The announcement to end lockdown restrictions may divert attention from the publication of Sue Grey’s report at parties in Westminster during several lockdowns.
The minister is speaking positively about the pandemic situation in the UK as signs of relief from the Omicron boom are starting to show.
The UK reported 99,652 new cases on Friday, down nearly 80,000 a week ago. Mr Javid said that “there are already early signs that the hospitalization rate is starting to slow”.
The Welsh government has already planned to lift most restrictions over a two-week period amid falling cases.
And the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Paul Given has expressed hope that he will be able to announce the easing of coronavirus rules next week.
He said the most recent modeling information on the virus was “very encouraging”.
Downing Street employees reportedly saw Mr Johnson do this regularly during the pandemic on Friday evening.
The Mirror quoted a source as saying that the prime minister encouraged aides to “let off steam” despite a ban on indoor socializing during the lockdown.
The newspaper said the weekend “wine-time Friday” had become such a fixture that employees bought a £142 drink fridge and would go to nearby Tesco with suitcases to stock up on wine and beer.
The fridge was reportedly delivered on December 11, 2020, when regulations prohibited the meeting indoors of two or more people from different households, unless it was necessary for work .
Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace on Friday following reports that staff attended two separate parties on the night before Prince Philip’s funeral in April.
Officials declined to confirm or deny whether Mr Johnson was aware of both sides, as he admitted to attending an earlier drink party and pictured a second later.
The prime minister’s spokesman said: “It is very regrettable that this happened at a time of national mourning and Number 10 apologized to the palace.”
According to The Mirror, about 50 Downing Street employees had a time between 4pm and 7pm in their electronic calendars for “wine-time Fridays” every week.
The newspaper said the drink was organized by the No. 10 press office, but advisers from other parts of the building would also attend. Captain Steve Higham, the then Defense Advisor to the Prime Minister, was reportedly a regular visitor.
A No. 10 spokesperson said: “An investigation is underway to establish the facts surrounding the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, setting and purpose, in terms of adherence to the guidance at that time. Findings will be made public in due course.” “