A majority of voters think Boris Johnson should resign as prime minister following the Downing Street Christmas party scandal, a snap poll has revealed.
Leaked footage from No 10’s £2.6 million press briefing room emerged on Tuesday night which showed former press secretary Allegra Stratton laughing as she appeared to rehearse answers to questions over a lockdown-busting Christmas party.
The video, which is reported to be from December 22 last year, refers to a party on “Friday” – which would have been December 18, the same day The Daily Mirror reported there was a staff party where games were played, food and drinks were served, and revelries went on past midnight.
No 10 initially did not say the reports were inaccurate but said all rules had been followed, before later denying any party had taken place.
The story appears to be cutting through with the public. According to Opinium’s latest poll, 53 per cent of voters now believe Johnson should resign – a five percentage point spike from a fortnight ago.
And 35 per cent of Conservative voters now believe that the prime minister should step down – although 49 per cent think he should stay in the job.
When asked about the alleged Christmas party, almost two-thirds said they thought it did take place – including 55 per cent of Tory voters and 83 per cent of Labour supporters.
‘Not much faith in the PM’
Chris Curtis, Senior Political Research Manager at Opinium said: “Boris Johnson has faced his fair share of scandals over the course of his Premiership, and most of them seem to pass him by without causing too much damage.
“We will need to wait and see if this story has a long-term impact, but our initial polling indicates that the public don’t have much faith in what they are hearing from the prime minister.”
As the cloud over Downing Street darkens, Google search data revealed that online searches for ‘Cancel Conservative Membership’ in the UK exploded to 1,900 per cent above average on Wednesday, after the video emerged.
The findings by Income Tax UK reveal that online searchers for scrapping Tory membership rocketed to 19 times the average figure in one day, while searchers for ‘Boris Johnson resign’ have risen by 1,011 per cent since 7 December.