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Jacob Rees-Mogg defends Boris Johnson: 'He's got all the big calls right'

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Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended Boris Johnson in light of the latest 'partygate' claims, saying the prime minister has got "all the big decisions right".

The House of Commons Leader made the comments following the announcement that the Met Police will investigate some of the Downing Street parties that have prompted widespread criticism of the Prime Minister.

He insisted that the Johnson government continues to go from "strength to strength".

Asked for their reaction outside Downing Street, some ministers including Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Health Secretary Sajid Javid - ignored reporters.

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg arrives in Downing Street, London, ahead of the government's weekly Cabinet meeting. Picture date: Tuesday December 7, 2021. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg defended Boris Johnson, saying he was "honoured" to be under his leadership. (Getty)

Read more: COVID travel tests to be scrapped for double jabbed arrivals in time for half term

But Rees-Mogg chose to defend the Prime Minister, saying: "The government is going from strength to strength.

"The Government has done an amazing job. The vaccine rollout, the furlough programme, the economy having bounced back to pre-pandemic levels."

He added: "The leadership of Boris Johnson this country has had has been so brilliant that he has got us through this incredibly difficult period and he has got all the big decisions right," he told reporters outside Downing Street.

"We have opened up faster than any other European country thanks to the prime minister and I am honoured to be under his leadership."

Rees-Mogg is one of a small handful of Conservative MPs publicly defending their embattled leader.

On Monday it emerged that Boris Johnson's wife, Carrie, reportedly arranged a surprise birthday party for him on 19 June 2020 in Downing Street’s Cabinet Room with up to 30 people present.

Despite the revelation sparking further criticism of the prime minister, some MPs continue to back him.

Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries leapt to his defence on Monday evening, tweeting: "So, when people in an office buy a cake in the middle of the afternoon for someone else they are working in the office with and stop for ten minutes to sing happy birthday and then go back to their desks, this is now called a party?"

Conservative MP Peter Bone has also launched one of the staunchest defences of the prime minister to date, insisting that voters in his constituency are more concerned about the cost of living crisis than alleged lockdown-breaking parties,

He said "the British people don’t care” about reports of lockdown parties and that voters he spoke to would “roll their eyes” when asked about it.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, he added: ”The British people realise the prime minister got the first vaccination that saved billions of lives across the world. He took us through COVID. He nearly lost his life. He worked extremely hard for people... and you’re worried about less than 10 minutes when work colleagues brought him a piece of cake."

Watch: UK minister says British public don't think it's a party

The PM has received the support of some cabinet ministers, including transport secretary Grant Shapps and environment secretary George Eustice.

While Shapps acknowledged that reports of the birthday bash had left him "uneasy" he suggested that the reports were overblown. "The prime minister didn’t present the cake to himself.

“These are staff he would have been working with and was working with all day long, and will have been many a time in the same room with them working on the response to coronavirus."

Others have been less supported.

The former Brexit minister David Davis, who has already called on Johnson to resign, said: "With the police now investigating, this nightmare gets even worse. We have to be able to get back to dealing with real threats as quickly as possible."

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