The public don’t want to focus on alleged lockdown breaching Christmas gatherings that took place at Downing Street last year, Boris Johnson has claimed.

At Prime Minister’s Questions today Mr Johnson was asked to explain why the public should trust his leadership after Plan B Covid restrictions were introduced in England following a vote on Tuesday night.

The Prime Minister said the public wants MPs to “focus on the matter in hand”, including the vaccine rollout.

Christmas party in Downing Street

Sir Keir Starmer said he did not believe Boris Johnson was unaware “what was happening in his own house last Christmas”, adding: “His MPs don’t believe him and nor do the British public.

“He’s taking the public for fools and it’s becoming dangerous because from today anyone who tests positive for coronavirus faces a second Christmas in isolation. It’ll be heart-breaking for families across the country.

Bournemouth Echo: (PA)(PA)

“The message from the Government has to be: ‘We know that following the rules won’t be easy this Christmas but it is necessary.’

“Can the Prime Minister not see that he has no hope of regaining the moral authority to deliver that difficult message if he cannot be straight with the British public about the rule-breaking in Downing Street last Christmas?”

Mr Johnson said he has repeatedly answered that question, adding: “He might explain why there are pictures of him quaffing beer.”

The Prime Minister added the public wants MPs to “focus on the matter in hand”, including the vaccine rollout.

Boris Johnson 'undermining public confidence'

Sir Keir Starmer said, “the only person undermining public confidence is sitting right there”, gesturing to the Prime Minister.

Sir Keir said: “His MPs are wrong to vote against basic public health measures, but they are not wrong to distrust him.

“Last week the Conservative member for the Forest of Dean asked why should people at home listening to the Prime Minister do things that people working in Downing Street are not prepared to do?”

He quoted a similar question from another Conservative backbencher, and Sir Keir then asked for the Prime Minister’s response.

Boris Johnson said: “The answer is very very clear and it’s there in what the public are doing, because they can see that the Government is getting on with delivering on their priorities, not just on the economy but above all on delivering the fastest booster rollout in Europe.”

He said: “We’ve done almost double the percentage of any other European country, we’ve boosted 86% of the over-80s in this country, 91% of the those aged 75 to 79, that is an astonishing achievement, and I think that is what the people of this country are focused on rather than the partisan trivia that he continually raises.”