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Politics

Boris Johnson urged to resist fresh Covid curbs recommended by gloomy scientists & let nation enjoy festive period


BORIS Johnson is considering slapping fresh curbs on socialising indoors — including pubs — despite hitting one million jabs a day.

The PM is under massive pressure from gloomy Sage scientists to impose lockdown restrictions to fend off Omicron.

Boris is under massive pressure from gloomy Sage scientists to impose lockdown restrictions to fend off Omicron, seen here with Lord Frost who recently resigned from his Cabinet position

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Boris is under massive pressure from gloomy Sage scientists to impose lockdown restrictions to fend off Omicron, seen here with Lord Frost who recently resigned from his Cabinet positionCredit: steve back

But his Cabinet and other angry Tory MPs are urging him to resist and let the nation enjoy Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

They instead called on No10 to rely on Britain’s stonking Covid vaccine rollout – boosted by The Sun’s Jabs Army, which helped smash a record one million vaccines – to fight Omicron.

The Prime Minister is understood to have cleared his diary today for urgent Covid meetings with scientists and his top team.

Scientists from advisors Sage have urged him to “go early” and slap curbs on indoor drinking and socialising.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid also refused to rule out new restrictions before Christmas Day.

Anxious MPs are on high-alert in case Parliament is recalled to ram through lockdown measures.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “There is no need to lock down, and people need this Christmas with their families.

“Boris must resist – and I think he will. All the scientific models are based on supposition – not data. We must follow the data.”

Tories warned up to 120 backbenchers could rebel and vote against further restrictions.

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This would be the biggest revolt the PM has ever suffered, and leave him relying on Labour votes to get restrictions through.

One minister said: “It would be a huge rebellion. If you look at the revolt on vaccine passports it came from all sides of the party.”

UK Hospitality chief Kate Nicholls urged MPs not to back more Covid restrictions before Christmas.

She said: “The costs of closing and reopening on top of losses we have already suffered in Christmas takings would be a double whammy for beleaguered businesses.

“Thousands of pubs and restaurants may never reopen, and it’ll take months to repair consumer and business confidence.”

At this point we just have to keep everything under review.

Sajid Javid

The Sun understands chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty told ministers on Saturday that Brits have already scaled back their socialising.

This was stemming infections without the need for lockdown, they were informed.

However Mr Javid yesterday refused to rule out restrictions before Christmas, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “There are no guarantees in this pandemic.

“At this point we just have to keep everything under review.”

Hinting the trigger could be pulled within days, he said: “If you wait until data is absolutely perfect it may well be too late.”

It came as Sage expert Peter Openshaw called for more restrictions amid chilling death toll warnings.

He told the Beeb: “We are absolutely clear that if we are going to have an effect with restrictions you need to act early.

“If you delay you only cause a bigger surge in cases and more damage to prosperity, freedoms and industry.”

Sage’s warnings that up to 6,000 Brits a day could die without new restrictions also came under fire.

Pullover and out…

REVELLERS rush to get in the Christmas spirits as lockdown fears gripped the hospitality sector.

Pals donned festive jumpers and celebrated on a night out.

It came after the traditional Otley Xmas run — a 1.5-mile pub crawl through Leeds, where drinkers brave the cold and wear fancy dress like sexy Mrs Santa costumes.

Professor of infectious diseases Graham Medley admitted Sage did not model numbers for what would happen if Omicron turns out to be less lethal than other variants.

He also said they were not interested in more upbeat scenarios.

Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan backs stricter restrictions, which he says are “inevitable”.

But he believes the PM should wait, saying: “Christmas is important, even for those of us that don’t celebrate religiously. You get time off, you get to see your family.

“So I think we should be able to celebrate Christmas safely.

“But I think sooner rather than later we’re going to have to look at social distancing, we’re going to have to look at household mixing.”

The PM is also facing opposition from ministers, with Rishi Sunak said to be pressing for steps away, while Liz Truss is sceptical of new measures.

Celebrity chef Michel Roux said the Treasury must bail out firms if they impose more curbs.

Meanwhile, a staggering 986,689 vaccines were delivered in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Saturday.

When Wales publishes its numbers, the total will almost certainly be more than one million — with the vast majority of those boosters.

No10 insiders insisted they are still focused on the jab rollout and pointed out that Plan B was only imposed less than two weeks ago.

A reveller in Leeds gets in the Christmas mood

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A reveller in Leeds gets in the Christmas moodCredit: NB PRESS LTD
Angry Tory MPs instead called on No10 to rely on Britain’s stonking Covid vaccine rollout

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Angry Tory MPs instead called on No10 to rely on Britain’s stonking Covid vaccine rolloutCredit: Maja Smiejkowska / Story Picture Agency
The Sun’s Jabs Army helped smash a record one million vaccines in one day

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The Sun’s Jabs Army helped smash a record one million vaccines in one day
Sajid Javid blasts anti-vaxxer Brits for ‘taking up hospital beds’ as more than FIVE MILLION people still refuse Covid jab

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