The papers: MPs 'plotting to oust Johnson', and Plan B update

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The papers: MPs 'plotting to oust Johnson', and Plan B update
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Daily Mirror - 19 January
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The uproar over the No 10 lockdown parties leads most front pages for another day. The Daily Mirror is one of several papers to report on a group of Tory MPs who are plotting Boris Johnson's downfall. The rebellion - nicknamed the "pork pie plot" because one of the Tories involved is the MP for Melton Mowbray - means Mr Johnson's premiership is "in the balance", the paper says. It quotes one Tory as saying: "His time has gone."
The Times - 19 January
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The Times also reports on the "growing revolt" of 20 Tory MPs. The group - who won their seats at the last election - are preparing to submit letters of no confidence this afternoon after Prime Minister's Questions, the paper says. One cabinet source tells the Times that it is "pretty sickening", adding: "They were only elected because of [Boris Johnson]. It's nuts," says the source. Mr Johnson held meetings with some of the 2019 intake last night, the Times adds.
The Guardian - 19 January
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The Guardian also says the mood of Tory MPs is "hardening" against Mr Johnson and there is open talk of how to oust him and who should replace him. The paper calls the PM's interview yesterday "disastrous" and quotes one frontbencher as saying: "The mood has turned dramatically. He's in real trouble." The inquiry from Sue Gray is due to report back next week, the paper adds.
Daily Mail - 19 January
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The Daily Mail accuses the Red Wall Tory MPs of "panicking" and turning on the man who got them elected. It reports that the group discussed submitting letters of no confidence to the 1922 committee en masse today. Ministers are outraged, the Mail says - saying that the rebellion comes as Covid curbs are about to end and figures are showing a "post-Covid jobs miracle".
Express - 19 January
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For the Daily Express, the whole situation a sorry state of affairs. It says Mr Johnson apologised a total of 10 times during an interview about the party row on Tuesday.
Metro Wednesday 19 January
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The Metro also focuses on Mr Johnson's interview when he denied he was warned the No 10 garden party might break the rules. Its headline quotes the PM as saying: "Nobody told me it was against the rules." The paper adds that Mr Johnson also appeared "close to tears" as he publicly apologised to the Queen over other events held on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.
Daily Telegraph - 19 January
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But the Daily Telegraph says Mr Johnson's denial did not explicitly rule out the possibility that he may have been aware of concerns about the gathering before it went ahead. Looking ahead to today's announcement on Covid rules, the Telegraph reports that the PM is set to lift Plan B measures including the guidance to work from home - although some mask-wearing rules could remain.
Daily Star - 19 January
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The Daily Star's take on the story - which it calls a "pants on fire crisis" - portrays Mr Johnson as Pinocchio. The PM says he did not know he had broken lockdown party rules "even though he made the actual rules", the paper says. "Then his day got even worse," it adds, citing comments from "brainless" Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Chancellor Rishi Sunak who did not unequivocally back him.
i newspaper - 19 January
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The i newspaper also picks up on the reaction from Mr Johnson's colleagues - calling Mr Sunak's endorsement "lukewarm", and reporting that Jeremy Hunt did not rule out a run for the party leadership.
The Sun - 19 January
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The Sun also references the "pork pie plot" to oust Mr Johnson on its front page. But its top story is on showbiz rather than politics, reporting that Strictly dancer Nadiya Bychkova has split from her fiance.
Financial Times - 19 January
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And the announcement that Microsoft is planning to buy major games company Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $75bn (£55bn) makes the top story for the Financial Times. It's the biggest ever deal by the tech company, the FT points out. Shares in other game publishers increased sharply amid expectations of more deals in the sector.
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