Boris Johnson will speak to the nation this afternoon when he holds a press conference from Glasgow.
The Prime Minister comes under fire for ongoing conservative ‘sleaze’ accusations – and faces personal criticism for failing to wear a face mask during a visit to a hospital.
And it comes amid reports that Britain is preparing to trigger Article 16 – a safeguard clause in the Northern Ireland Protocol that both parties can trigger if they believe that the EU-UK exit agreement reached as part of Brexit has caused “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties” or “diversion of trade”.
However, Johnson has returned to Scotland for the COP26 summit to push through a climate deal, with a televised press conference scheduled for 6 p.m. 16.30, reports The Sun.
But that comes as former Cabinet minister Sir Geoffrey Cox could face an inquiry into the Commons’ standard tsar over allegations that he “broke the rules” by using his parliamentary office for his second job of providing legal advice.
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The Times reported that the former justice minister, who has been criticized for his outside earnings, used his Westminster office to participate externally to advise the British Virgin Islands in a corruption inquiry launched by the Foreign Office.
Conservative MP and QC Sir Geoffrey has earned hundreds of thousands of pounds for his work on the islands, while allegations have surfaced that he was based in the Caribbean earlier this year while using lockdown proxy voting rules to continue to state his opinion in Commons.
This follows a recommendation that former Environment Minister Owen Patersons should be suspended for six weeks after the Commons Standards Committee found he had violated the centuries-old ban on paid lobbying by MPs.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has been criticized for going through a hospital without a mask.
Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoy for Covid-19, told Sky News: “I’m not sitting on the fence on this one – where you have large amounts of viruses being transmitted, everyone should do everything to avoid either getting the virus or inadvertently pass it on.
“We know that wearing a face mask reduces the risk, we know that maintaining physical distance reduces the risk, we know that hygiene by regular hand washing and coughing into the elbow reduces the risk.
“We should do it all and we should not rely on a single intervention like vaccination alone.
“So thank you, would any leader wear face masks? Especially in indoor environments.”
At Cop26, Labor has called on Mr Johnson to “take responsibility” for the climate summit during his return visit, amid fears that the conference “is not about to deliver” the promise to prevent global warming rising above 1.5C .
Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said: “It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that the Prime Minister sees a day trip to the police as a useful way to distract from the filth around the Tory party rather than a chance to grab and engage in substance as a statesman. “It is high time that Boris Johnson acknowledges that he is not a commentator, but that he should take responsibility for a summit that is not about to deliver.
“We are miles away from where we need to be in the halving of emissions required by 2030.
“It’s time for the government to face this truth, stop the greenwashing and put maximum pressure on all parties to step up and agree on a way out of Glasgow to keep 1.5 alive.”
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