BORIS Johnson has refused to resign despite mounting calls for him to stand down as PM and a defection by a Tory MP to Labour

The Prime Minister faced multiple questions about whether or not he would leave office in the face of Downing Street party allegations, but would only tell MPs to wait for the outcome of civil servant Sue Gray's inquiry, due to report next week. 

It comes as Johnson faces a fresh leadership challenge from MPs, amid new allegations of Covid-19 rule breaking, and as Red Wall MP Christian Wakeford defected to the Labour party just minutes before PMQs was due to kick off. 

READ MORE: Boris Johnson loses 'Red Wall' Tories with scandal-plagued premiership, poll finds

During a tense exchange between Johnson and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Johnson could be seen checking his watch and laughing while Blackford asked a question.

Blackford said: "This week was supposed to be Operation ‘Save Big Dog, but it has quickly become Operation ‘Dog’s Dinner’.

"Over the past few days we’ve had more damaging revelations about Downing Street rule breaking, more evidence that parliament has been misled, and an even longer list of ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous excuses from the Prime Minister.

"First he claimed there were no parties, then he wasn’t present, then he admitted he was at them but he didn’t know it was a party.

The National:

Johnson was seen checking his watch during Blackford's question

"Then the latest sorry excuse is really the most pathetic of them all, 'nobody told me, nobody told me'. Nobody told the Prime Minister he was breaking his own rules, absolutely pathetic."

Almost drowned out by heckling MPs, Blackford added: "The Prime Minister laughing once again, laughing at the British public, the Prime Minister is taking the public for fools.

"Nobody believes him, will the Prime Minister finally take responsibility and resign? Go, Prime Minister."

Johnson replied: "No, Mr Speaker but I thank him for his question again and let me just remind him that there’s an inquiry that is due to conclude and I believe he is wrong in what he asserts, but we’ll have to wait and see what the inquiry says.

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"The most important thing from the point of view of the UK Government is that we’re coming out of restrictions that we’ve been in, I’m delighted to see that’s happening in Scotland as well, and that is very largely thanks to the wonderful co-operation that we continue to see across the whole of the UK, but you wouldn’t believe it, hearing it from him."

Blackford again called on Tory MPs to remove Johnson from office as he "isn't fit" to serve.

He said: “I’m afraid nobody is buying this act any more, there ought to be some respect and dignity from the Prime Minister. Let’s remind ourselves more than 150,000 of our citizens died and he’s partying, he’s laughing. It simply isn’t acceptable.

The National:

Blackford had to shout over Tory MPs who tried to drown out his question

“The fake contrition, the endless excuses, the empty promises that it’ll be different only if we give him one last chance.

"This is a Prime Minister who arrogantly believes that he’s above the rules, a Prime Minister who brazenly twists the truth, a Prime Minister who simply isn’t fit for office.

“The Prime Minister’s former chief adviser has said that he lied to Parliament, breaking the ministerial code. Prime Minister, a resignation offence.

Johnson replied: “I disagree with him and I think that when you look at the levels of trust that the British people, people in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland across the whole country have shown in Government, that the single biggest index of that trust has been their willingness to come forward voluntarily, unlike many other countries in the world to get vaccinated on a scale not seen anywhere elsewhere in Europe.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson refuses to say Douglas Ross is NOT a 'lightweight'

Blackford was not the only MP to call for Johnson to stand down during the tense session of PMQs on Wednesday, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer focussed on the PM's latest excuse.

Starmer said the PM’s defence requires the public to believe that “as he waded through the empty bottles and platters of sandwiches, he didn’t realise it was a party”.

He said: “The Prime Minister’s account gets more extraordinary with each version of his defence. If the Prime Minister’s new defence were true, it requires him to suggest that his staff are not being truthful when they say they warned him about the party.

The National:

Starmer picked apart Johnson's l atest excuse over the Downing Street parties

“It requires the Prime Minister to expect us to believe that whilst every other person who was invited on May 20 to the party was told it was a social occasion, he alone was told it was a work meeting.

“It also requires the Prime Minister to ask us to accept that as he waded through the empty bottles and platters of sandwiches, he didn’t realise it was a party.

“Does the Prime Minister realise how ridiculous that sounds?”

Johnson said “lots of people are interested in the exact legal justification” for the picture of the Labour leader “drinking a pint of beer, of a bottle of beer”.

The PM added: “Perhaps he can tell the House about that in a minute. But what I can tell the House is that throughout the pandemic, people across Government have been working flat out to protect the British public.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson loses 'Red Wall' Tories with scandal-plagued premiership, poll finds

There were even calls from the Tory benches for Johnson to resign, with former minster David Davis telling the PM he had spent weeks defending him from “angry constituents”, including by reminding them of the “successes of Brexit”.

He said: “I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. Yesterday he did the opposite of that.

"So, I will remind him of a quotation which may be familiar to his ear: Leopold Amery to Neville Chamberlain.

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go.”