BORIS Johnson is considering introducing his "Plan B for Covid" on Thursday in a desperate bid to divert attention away from questions over lockdown Christmas bashes at Downing Street, it has been suggested.

The Prime Minister is facing mounting fury from within his own party - as well as calls from the SNP and Labour for him to resign - as a leaked video showed Downing Street aides laughing in a mock press conference over a "business meeting" with wine and cheese at No10.

Cabinet ministers pulled out of media interviews this morning as the UK Government struggled to answer questions over the party with police considering whether criminal action should be taken.

READ MORE: PMQs: Outrage as Boris Johnson tries to duck responsibility over Christmas party

This morning senior journalists said new Covid restrictions may now be introduced in England as early as tomorrow (Thursday) in a bid to change the news agenda.

Tom Newton Dunn, a presenter for Times Radio and the former political editor of The Sun, tweeted: "Rumours abounding of an imminent Quad meeting to discuss imposing Plan B as early as tomorrow morning, meaning Working From Home and covid passports for large venues. One source tells me it's "85% likely". Let's see. One helluva dead cat."

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC's political editor, tweeted: "Growing expectation in SW1 govt also about to move to push button on some extra Covid restrictions - nothing confirmed but turning out to be quite the day - #pmqs in an hour

Whitehall sources have told PoliticsHome that additional Covid restrictions are set to be announced as early as today in England, in response to the rising R rate.

Tory MP William Wragg seized on the reports when he quizzed Johnson at PMQs in the Commons describing the plan as a "diversionary tactic".

Wragg told the Commons: "There are media reports of a Cabinet meeting and press conference this afternoon to initiate Covid winter plan B without reference to this House."

Wragg went out to criticise the possible introduction of vaccine passports under the plan, before adding: "Is my Right Honorable friend the Prime Minister aware that very few will be convinced by this diversionary tactic?"

The PM said no decisions would be taken without consulting the Cabinet.

The leaked footage from No10's £2.6 million press briefing room showed former press secretary Allegra Stratton laughing as she appeared to rehearse answers to questions over a lockdown-busting Christmas party.

The National:

Former PM's communications chief Allegra Stratton.

The video, which is reported to be from December 22 last year, refers to a party on "Friday" - which would have been December 18, the same day The Daily Mirror reported there was a staff party where games were played, food and drinks were served, and revelries went on past midnight.

No10 initially did not say the reports were inaccurate but said all rules had been followed, before later denying any party had taken place.

READ MORE: WATCH: Ant and Dec get ripped into Boris Johnson over Christmas party claims

The emergence of the video put Johnson under increasing pressure as he faced Labour leader Keir Starmer and the SNP's Ian Blackford at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon.

The challenge for Downing Street was laid bare when no Cabinet minister was offered to represent the Government in morning broadcast interviews, and there were questions over whether a suggested press conference to mark one year since the first coronavirus vaccine was delivered would go ahead.

As well as Health Secretary Sajid Javid pulling out of national interviews, vaccines minister Maggie Throup is understood to have pulled out of a planned round of regional television interviews.

Labour's shadow foreign secretary David Lammy called on the Prime Minister to "come clean" with the British public.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It really is quite unacceptable that this is seen as something that is sort of humorous, or something that isn't serious, or something that suggests that there can be one rule for a Prime Minister and those in No10 and another rule for the British public."

A former vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs has said the Government is likely to now find it "almost impossible" to introduce "very proscriptive" Covid-19 restrictions due to the saga.

Charles Walker, MP for Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, told Times Radio: "I think now that, going forward, any measures will be advisory. I think it would be very difficult to enshrine them in law and then once again ask our poor police forces to enforce them."

He added: "To be very proscriptive about this now, particularly as we've had such a successful vaccine rollout ... is much more difficult, and was always going to be much more difficult. And the events of the last 24 hours make it probably almost impossible now."