Boris must go! PM savaged as approval rating dives and Tories hit by election warning

Boris Johnson is grilled on the handling of Owen Paterson saga

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Last week, the Tories voted to reject Parliament’s cross-party Committee on Standards, which found Mr Paterson made “egregious” breaches of lobbying laws when he accepted money from private firms worth three times the salary he earns in the Commons. The Prime Minister pushed the Commons to hastily change the rules to protect Mr Paterson, only to backtrack after the vote, and leave the Government hugely embarrassed.

Now an Opinium poll of 1,840 people from November 5-6, commissioned by the Observer, showed he had lost four approval points over the past week, dropping from an already low total of -20 to -16.

The first party poll conducted after the debacle also makes alarming reading for the Tories, who now only have a slim one-point lead over Labour, with 37 percent compared to 36 percent.

A little over a quarter (28 percent) do not believe Mr Johnson is the best person for the job among potential Prime Ministerial candidates.

Even more alarmingly, support for the Prime Minister has plunged by nine points from 37 percent since the last poll, and seen Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer trail by just two points on 26 percent in the latest adjusted polls.

Reacting to our initial story, Express.co.uk reader ZebulonHempseed raged: “Bojo has to go, no question about it.

“Clever he may be but he has no common sense and no leadership qualities. Not fit for purpose.”

Express.co.uk reader ourdaywillcome said: “It’s taken time but voters are waking up to what Johnson is all about.”

John 58 warned: “My card has been cut up, direct debit stopped and my future votes lost.

Fellow reader danbolton added: “I only vote the Tories to keep Labour out. Tories are in bed with Labour now.”

During a session in the Commons on Monday, the UK Government apologised for its botched attempt to protect Mr Paterson by changing rules designed to prevent corruption in parliament.

Steve Barclay said: “I would like to express my regret and that of my ministerial colleagues over the mistake made last week.”

Mr Johnson did not take part in the parliamentary debate as he had a prior engagement to visit a hospital in northern England, a move which saw Labour leadrer Sir Keir launch a furious attack.

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He said: “Leadership is about taking responsibility, and if there is an apology to be made, that apology should come from the top, just as the direction came from the top last week to engage in this business in the first place.

“Last week the Prime Minister damaged himself, he damaged his party and he damaged our democracy.

“He led his party through the sewers and the stench lingers.

“This week he had the chance to clean up, to apologise to the country and finally accept that the rules apply to him and his friends.

“But instead of stepping up he has hidden away.

“Instead of clearing up his mess he has left his side knee-deep in it. Instead of leading from the front, he has cowered away.

“He is not a serious leader and the joke isn’t funny any more.”

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