Boris Johnson was dealt a further blow when a Treasury minister abruptly quit complaining about the government’s Covid loan anti-fraud policies.

Lord Agnew declared that he would be stepping down at the Upper House’s despatch box. This caused a flurry of laughter from his peers, as he attacked’schoolboy error’ when it came to tackling support scheme abuse.

The bombshell came as he was updating peers about the £4.3billion of Covid loans written off by the Treasury – which Labour said has gone to ‘fraudsters’. 

Lord Agnew, who told the chamber that he wasn’t happy working with the Treasury and Business Department, said to peers that it was dishonest for him not to continue in the role of minister for counter-fraud.

He said, “It’s for that reason that I regretfully decided to resign as minister in the Treasury and Cabinet Office immediately.”

Lord Agnew announced he was resigning at the despatch box in the Upper House - drawing gasps from peers

Lord Agnew, who announced his resignation at the Upper House despatch box, drew gasps among peers

Boris Johnson visited Milton Keynes Hospital today as he awaits the results of the Sue Gray inquiry into Partygate

Boris Johnson visited Milton Keynes Hospital today while he waited for the Sue Gray investigation into Partygate.

Boris will survive despite Downing Street’s multiple struggles 

As he tries to keep his primacy, the Prime Minister is fighting multiple wars. 

Although Sue Gray’s investigation into “partygate” is said to have uncovered some very damning evidence. Here are the challenges faced by Downing Street that could be deadly for Boris’ leadership.

Islamophobia Allegations 

Nusrat Khani, the Tory first Muslim women MP, claimed she was threatened by being expelled in 2020 after her Muslim identity made colleagues feel uncomfortable. 

The whip also said that Boris Johnson had told her she had been fired because of her comments to Boris Johnson about a “women issue” when trying to attract female voters.

Ms Ghani claimed she raised the issue through official party channels but said she was warned that if she continued to do so, she would be ‘ostracised’ by her colleagues and her ‘career and reputation would be destroyed’.

William Wragg claims of blackmail against MPs

William Wragg was a backbencher that accused Downing Street blackmailing rebel MPs. Yesterday, he said he’d meet with police to address his claims. 

Downing Street claimed it hadn’t seen evidence of Johnson’s behavior, but Chris Bryant (chair of the Commons Committee on Standards), said that about 12 Tory MPs suggested whips threatened with withdrawing funding to their constituencies if they didn’t support Johnson.

Whips were also accused of trying to intimidate rebels by using the threat of making sex-related allegations against them.

1922 Committee

William Wragg is a joint vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative Backbenchers. Nusrat Ghani is a co-chairman. 

Gary Sambrook, the executive secretary of the committee, has expressed his wish for a Tory leader. Sir Geoffrey Clifton Browne was frustrated with last year’s PM. 

Johnson could be exempt from another leadership challenge for one year if he won a party confidence vote. But, the committee might reduce that immunity to six months.  


Christian Wakeford, a former Tory MP joined Labour last week.

Although Parliament is not known for defections, there are rumors that Tory MPs could soon be following suit. 

Following his speech, which chastises a “combination” of indolences, arrogances, and ignorance that costs the Treasury minister the equivalent to a penny income tax, the Treasury Minister said, “Thank you, and goodbye,” and left the Lords Chamber, where he received applause from fellow peers.

He stated to the House that the oversight of BBL panel lenders by BEIS and British Business Bank was nothing but woeful.

“They were assisted by Treasury officials, who seem to not have any knowledge of the implications of fraud on our economy and society.”

Lords, he stated that BEIS had “two counterfraud staff” at the outbreak of the pandemic and they were unwilling to ‘engage constructively’ with their counterfraud team.

He stated that he had made a number of mistakes, including allowing bounceback loans to be granted to over 1,000 companies who were not trading on the day Covid took power.

Labour leader in Lords Smith of Basildon replied: ‘I think that we just witnessed one of our most dramatic moments in the House. It was a minister who felt that his integrity would no longer guarantee he could remain a member the Government. 

Even though Lord Agnew denied any connection to Johnson’s problems, this move will increase pressure on the already struggling premier. 

Mr Johnson is facing another week from hell as the top civil servant finalises her inquiry into alleged lockdown breaches in Whitehall, while furious Tories prepare for another coup bid. 

Dominic Cummings today revealed he is only giving written evidence to the Partygate inquiry to avoid Mr Johnson ‘inventing nonsense’ about what he said.

Former No10 chief stated that he will not speak directly to Sue Gray chief because staff don’t hand over crucial material due to concerns Boris Johnson may see it. 

The comments came amid rumours Downing Street police have supplied ‘extremely damning’ testimony to Ms Gray, with storm clouds seemingly gathering around Mr Johnson.

However, the spokesperson for the PM refused to confirm that Ms Gray’s entire report would be published. He said it was up to the Premier to decide how much.  

Already, Mr Cummings stated that he was ready to swear that Johnson was warned about a “BYOB” bash that would take place in May 2020.

The ex-aide posted this blog entry today: ‘When SG requested to speak with me, I emailed the following: If we talk, the PM will create nonsense and spin to the media, and you and your problems will both be. Let’s get everything in writing. Therefore, he can’t invent what I’ve supposedly told you. There is only a documented record. This makes our lives much easier. 

‘She agreed. “She agreed. I’ve answered all her questions and can answer any additional questions she may have. The PM will have more chance to confuse and lie if I don’t speak.

I know other people are concerned about sending things to Cabinet Office as they know the PM is going to see all the information SG gathers. This will invariably mean that any photos or evidence she collects isn’t given to her, and her report will leak.

He said that caution was a ‘consequence for beliefs about the PM’s integrity, but not SG’s’. 

According to reports, guardian No10 officers from Scotland Yard’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command were ‘only too eager’ to give accounts during the investigation.    

But, the prime minister has defied and is said to have reconnected a group of friends who helped get him leadership so that he could support MPs. The group, which includes ministers Conor Burns and Nigel Adams as well as Chris Pincher, has been nicknamed by Wags the “Avengers”.

He will likely push Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker) to reply to Ms Gray’s conclusions within hours of their being released. This would allow him to take control of the “narrative”.   

Mr Cummings, pictured outside his London home today, has levelled a series of allegations at the PM over Partygate

Pictured today outside of his London residence, Mr Cummings has made a number of accusations against the PM regarding Partygate