Keir Starmer said Boris Johnson “takes the public for fools” and UK people are paying the price whilst the prime minister “has lost his authority and lost control”.
Writing for the Sunday Mirror, Starmer said that, earlier this week, no government minister wanted to come on television and defend Johnson in the light of fresh controversies involving government officials.
“They couldn’t defend what the nation had seen the night before – that he and his mates had broken the rules, tried to cover it up, and were laughing at us about it. Literally,” Starmer wrote.
‘Amused by those who followed government rules’
He added: “Amused by those who had followed the rules, for themselves, for their families and for everyone round them.
“Chuckling at the people that strictly stood in the cold on their elderly parents’ drives to check they were managing on their own.
“Sniggering at those that ate their Christmas dinner alone, because that’s what their government told them to do.”
Starmer appeared to mock the government’s “Crime week” by suggesting ministers should first have a good look in the mirror: “We learned of Downing Street parties when the law didn’t allow them. The prime minister stood at the despatch box, denying he knew anything about it.
“And now the latest charge, did he really not know for so long who was paying for the decoration of his flat?”
He added: “Boris Johnson is too busy denying what he knows and when he knew it that he’s missing in action. He’s lost his grip, and people are paying the price.
“These are serious times that require leadership. It’s amazing this needs saying, but that leadership should be honest, decent and simply straight up with people.
“When Boris Johnson’s not speaking in Latin, he’s speaking in slogans. That was frustrating enough. But now it’s worse. He’s speaking untruths.”
What voter polls revealed
Meanwhile, Labour has registered its highest lead in polls since 2014 this weekend, and has a nine-point lead ahead of the Tories.
The Opinum survey places Labour on 41 per cent, whilst the Tories are on 32 per cent, their lowest score since 2019.
And a majority of 57 per cent of the voters think Boris Johnson should resign from his role as prime minister. His ratings dropped to -35 per cent, down 14 points from a record low of -21 per cent two weeks ago.
The catastrophic figures come after it emerged that last December, a Christmas party allegedly took place at Downing Street, with dozens in attendance. The prime minister, senior ministers and Number 10 all denied Covid rules were broken.
Asked which Covid-related scandal involving government representatives shocked them the most, 51 per cent of respondents said it was the No 10 Christmas Party last year, followed by 28 per cent for the Dominic Cummings trip to Barnard Castle and 21 per cent for former health secretary Matt Hancock’s affair.