MICHAEL Gove has said that people should show the Tories in government who flouted lockdown rules to hold parties some “Christian forgiveness”.

The top Tory was speaking to Andrew Neil for a documentary the former GB News chair made for Channel 4.

Aired on Sunday, the documentary saw Neil ask if Johnson has “run out of road”.

Speaking to Gove, the Minister for Levelling Up, the presenter asked if the UK Government hadn’t taken a “cavalier approach to lockdown”.

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Gove said: “The Prime Minister has been clear that mistakes were made and he’s taken responsibility for those.

“I’m sure that when the report is published there will be from individuals concerned recognition, contrition and so on, and you know we owe them an element of Christian forgiveness.”

The scandal around “partygate” - the term which refers to at least 16 events held on Whitehall while the rest of the UK sat in lockdown - has grown as to threaten Johnson’s position at the head of his party.

A raft of backbench Tory MPs are reportedly waiting for the Sue Gray report into the scandal before sending no confidence letters to the 1922 Committee.

A total of 54 letters would need to be sent to trigger a leadership contest. It is not yet known how many have been sent in, or if Johnson wouldn’t win the subsequent contest anyway, protecting him from further challenge for 12 months.

The Gray report has not yet been published, and a last minute U-turn from the Met police means it is likely to be redacted when it is released.

The London police force has said it is investigating incidents on Whitehall that may have broken lockdown, but has refused to say which ones or how many.

Boris Johnson has already admitted to Parliament that he attended at least one lockdown-busting party, a "bring your own booze" event in the No 10 garden to which around 100 people were invited.

Johnson claimed he believed "implictly" that it had been a work event.