Boris Johnson joked 'Rule of Six' would be an excuse to 'not see the in-laws at Christmas' in gag that fell flat during Zoom call to Tory backbenchers
鲍里斯·约翰逊(Boris Johnson)开玩笑说，“六条规则”(Rule Of Six)将成为“圣诞节看不到姻亲”的借口，因为在给保守党后座议员打电话时，这些恶作剧失败了。
Boris Johnson reportedly joked that the Rule of Six would mean families could escape celebrating Christmas with their in-laws as sceptical Tory MPs challenged his coronavirus strategy last night.
The Prime Minister last night appeared before his party for an impromptu meeting of the 1922 Committee, the influential group of backbenchers headed by Sir Graham Brady, to garner support ahead of the introduction of his three-tiered system of lockdown restrictions.
英国首相昨晚出现在他所在的政党面前，参加1922年委员会(1922 Committee)的临时会议。1922年委员会是由格雷厄姆·布雷迪爵士(Sir Graham Brady)领导的有影响力的后座议员团体，他在引入三级封锁限制制度之前获得了支持。
Mr Johnson is understood to have made the ill-judged gag while fielding questions from angry Conservative backbenchers over a Zoom call amid growing anger that the country is 'going bankrupt' as a result of the Government's actions.
According to website Bloomberg, three sources claimed the Prime Minister was 15 minutes late to the virtual meting before making 'multiple jokes that landed badly with his audience'.
He rubbished ex-premier Theresa May's call to add business experts to the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, suggesting it would have to be renamed 'beige'. The Spectator magazine reports that he said this while laughing to himself.
The chat function on Zoom meant Mr Johnson could pick which questions to answer during the Q&A. When one MP asked 'what can you tell me about Christmas', the Prime Minister reportedly responded: 'It's a religious festival that's been celebrated 2020 years'.
However, his joke about in-laws at Christmas was widely condemned, with shadow policing minister Sarah Jones saying: 'We all have a sense of humour but that really isn't funny right now.'
One Twitter user said: 'I miss my in-laws terribly. They are excellent, loving people who have helped us stay afloat during all this. Johnson is such a mean-spirited person.'
Another said: 'Covid is such a laugh isn't it so far as Johnson is concerned? Families split apart. Some in-laws won't be around for their children and grandchildren.'
'I would love to see my mother-in-law at Christmas, but I won't ever again as she died of Covid in June,' one social media user commented.
Mr Johnson is engaged to Carrie Symonds, a former Tory communications chief. Together they have a son Wilfred, who was born earlier this year.
Ms Symonds' parents are journalist Matthew Symonds, who founded The Independent, and Josephine McAfee, a lawyer on the newspaper.
Mr Johnson's former in-laws are Charles and Dip Wheeler, the parents of his ex-wife barrister Marina Wheeler. Mr Wheeler died in 2008.
约翰逊的前姻亲是查尔斯·惠勒(Charles Wheeler)和迪普·惠勒(Dip Wheeler)，他们是他的前妻大律师玛丽娜·惠勒(Marina Wheeler)的父母。惠勒先生于2008年去世。
This year Mr Johnson is likely to celebrate Christmas at Chequers, the Prime Minister's official country residence, owing to the draconian Rule of Six.
Yesterday Britain recorded more than 100 coronavirus deaths for the first time in four months as officials announced 143 more victims.
However, the Government faced a small rebellion from Tory lockdown sceptics last night as 42 Tories, including the former cabinet members David Davis and Esther McVey, rejected the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.
MPs approved the three-tiered lockdown system announced on Monday, but used a separate non-binding vote on the closing time of hospitality venues to register their fury at the direction of travel.
At the 1922 meeting, Mr Johnson used his opening address to paint his coronavirus strategy as the 'balanced approach', calling it the middle ground behind Keir Starmer's calls for a national lockdown and 'letting the virus rip'.
However, his plea did little to assuage fears, as Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, said that steps such as binning the 10pm curfew could mitigate some of the worst effects of lockdown.
然而，他的请求几乎没有缓解恐惧，因为1922年委员会主席格雷厄姆·布雷迪爵士(Sir Graham Brady)表示，限制晚上10点宵禁等措施可能会减轻封锁的一些最坏影响。
In bruising clashes with his own side during the Commons debate last night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock conceded the curfew was a 'matter of policy choice' in order to keep schools and workplaces open, rather than something driven by the science.
He claimed there was 'direct and approximate evidence' for the positive impact of the limits on pubs and restaurants, citing a fall in alcohol-related A&E admissions late at night.
MPs were also warned they should have 'no confidence' of ever reaching herd immunity against the virus, even if everyone caught it.
But Imran Ahmad Khan, Tory MP for Wakefield, warned the tiered restrictions would 'break' his constituents.
但韦克菲尔德的保守党议员伊姆兰·艾哈迈德·汗(Imran Ahmad Khan)警告说，分级限制将“打破”他的选民。
Former minister Sir Christopher Chope referred to evidence from Sweden, saying their approach was 'clear and simple, it is to trust the people and make them responsible for their own health and welfare', and added: 'The collateral damage which is being caused is going to actually reduce life expectancy further.'
Foreign Affairs committee chair Tom Tugendhat complained about the lack of consistency in the Government's approach.
He said: 'At the moment it's off the bus, on the bus, off the bus, on the bus, and for those of us who served in uniform, you know how much time that wastes.'
Sir Graham Brady said: 'This half-alive state that we have come to inhabit cannot be allowed to become permanent.'
Sir Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, claimed: 'We are going bankrupt as a nation. There won't be the money to pay for the NHS or pensions.'
It comes as Cabinet splits were raging today as ministers denied Mr Johnson will impose a two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown over half-term — despite claims one is now '80 per cent' likely to happen.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey defied escalating fury from SAGE scientists as she said new nationwide measures are not on the cards before the end of the month, insisting the focus is on the new 'Tiered' local restrictions.
But the Prime Minister is being assailed on both sides by 'hawks' and 'doves' in his own team. Meanwhile Keir Starmer has ramped up the pressure by explicitly backing a 'circuit breaker', with No10 accusing him of 'playing politics' with the pandemic.
Two senior SAGE experts have produced estimates that a short sharp shock lockdown from October 24 could reduce deaths by between 3,000 and 107,000. Another, Wellcome Trust director Jeremy Farrar, lashed Mr Johnson for achieving the 'worst of all worlds'.
There are mounting signs of anxiety within Downing Street about its approach, after it emerged publicly that Mr Johnson has been defying his scientific advice for weeks.
There are reports that Mr Johnson is considering a 'circuit breaker', a form of which is already in place in Scotland, to coincide with half-term. One source told the Telegraph he was 80 per cent likely to order the closure of pubs, restaurants and some other firms next week.