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Boris Johnson warned future as prime minister rests on Oxford vaccine

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference in response to the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, at 10 Downing Street, London. - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson has been warned his future as prime minister will rest on the Oxford vaccine.

Katy Balls, the deputy editor of the Spectator, has claimed that with Tories “fuming” over new coronavirus restrictions and no parliamentary scrutiny, they want to see a clear “exit strategy”.

Number 10 has previously hinted at a return to normal by the spring, with the ambition Easter will be more normal than Christmas.

But it will need the Oxford jab to be approved and rolled out in a timely manner, with Balls pointing out that Johnson’s premiership rests on it being a success.

Balls writes that without a “clear route to stopping 99% of the deaths by spring” and an end of restrictions, “the path for Johnson to tread in 2021 becomes much more uphill”.

Matt Hancock has hinted much of the country may need to remain under heavy restrictions until a majority of the public have received the vaccine.

Balls continued: “If coronavirus restrictions dominate the coming year not only will it mean huge obstacles for any economic recovery, it would also see Johnson at loggerheads with many in his parliamentary party – likely having to rely on Labour votes to keep restrictions in place. That’s a dangerous place for any prime minister to be.”

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