Today’s papers carry claims Boris Johnson’s allies used “blackmail” and other “dirty tactics” to intimidate Tory defectors plotting his ousting.
Metro writes rebel Conservatives were “blackmailed to back Boris”, citing allegations by William Wragg that MPs were threatened with damaging press stories and funding cuts to their constituencies.
Friday's front page:
— Metro Newspaper UK (@MetroUKNews) January 20, 2022
The Guardian also splashes with allegations “dirty tactics” have been employed by Tory whips to douse no-confidence votes.
Guardian front page, Friday 21 January 2022: Tories 'using dirty tactics' to get MPs to back Johnson pic.twitter.com/IbvyrLLCZp
— The Guardian (@guardian) January 20, 2022
The Daily Mirror focuses on blackmail claims made by Christian Wakeford who defected to Labour this week, citing the MP as saying: “I was threatened that I would not get (a new school for Radcliffe) if I did not vote in one particular way”.
— The Mirror (@DailyMirror) January 20, 2022
The Independent quotes rebel Tory MP Andrew Bridgen as saying: “I was one of the first MPs out of the blocks calling for Boris Johnson to go, and within days there was a smear story out there. That wasn’t just to intimidate me, it was used to intimidate other people”.
— Helena Wilkinson (@BBCHelena) January 20, 2022
The PM’s position is precarious as Conservative rebels regroup ahead of Sue Gray’s report into No 10’s lockdown parties, i reports. The paper cites a Cabinet minister who said Mr Johnson faces a “death by a thousand cuts”.
— i newspaper (@theipaper) January 20, 2022
The Daily Star continues with its “lame duck” theme in response to the political crisis and appears to have sent one of its reporters to Downing Street dressed as a duck.
— Daily Star (@dailystar) January 20, 2022
Elsewhere, the Daily Express writes the Chancellor is considering a one-off £500 pay-out to Britons struggling with household energy costs.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) January 20, 2022
The Daily Mail writes unions are “at war” with the PM over his push to get workers, particularly civil servants, back in the office.
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) January 20, 2022
The Daily Telegraph reports on the public’s reaction to the easing of Covid restrictions, writing schools are defying Mr Johnson on masks with “over 100 head teachers” telling parents that students need to continue wearing masks in the classroom.
The front page of tomorrow's Daily Telegraph:
'Schools defy PM on masks in class'#TomorrowsPapersToday
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) January 20, 2022
And the Financial Times reports Ukraine has “hit back at (US President) Joe Biden’s suggestion that a ‘minor incursion’ by Russian forces into the country might not prompt a severe allied response”.