Boris Johnson is 'innocent until proven guilty' says Rees-Mogg
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Allies of the embattled Prime Minister has reportedly warned him that he must “reset” Downing Street after the top civil’s report by sacking more people. If he fails to do this the current crisis could drag on, they have reportedly said.
There is a concern among figures who have spoken to the PM recently that the shake-up of Number 10 planned for next week does not go far enough.
They believe that it won’t go far enough to convince the public and Tory MPs that he has fully acknowledged problems revealed in the “partygate” scandal.
But supporters who have discussed the situation with Mr Johnson in recent weeks have told The Telegraph they fear his “reset” plans do not go far enough.
“It is all going to depend on his reaction. I still think that is the big issue,” said one source.
“If he is contrite, if he moves the agenda on, if he changes people – I think those are things that will make a difference.
“If he doesn’t do that, then I think the letters will rush in. This can’t go on, this has to be a big reset.”
A second source said: “We need to do a major reset to get through the May elections. I’m worried that what is coming is not enough.”
The behind-the-scenes discussions come as the political establishment waits with bated breath for the publication of Ms Gray’s report.
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Its findings of alleged lockdown-breaking parties at Number 10 could be handed in at any moment.
Mr Johnson will then decide when they are released to the public – something he has vowed to do swiftly.
Earlier today the Prime Minister denied he was delaying its publication.
And with many MPs having returned to their constituencies for the weekend, it appears unlikely that it will appear before Monday.
Whatever is published, the Cabinet Office is keen to ensure none of its contents undermines an ongoing Metropolitan Police probe into the matter.
Earlier this week Met Police boss Cressida Dick announced that the force was investigating “a number of events” that had taken place in Downing Street and Whitehall over the last two years in relation to potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations.
But she added: “The fact that we are now investigating does not, of course, mean that fixed penalty notices will necessarily be issued in every instance and to every person involved.”
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