A LEADING polling expert has said many members of the public simply do not believe Boris Johnson's claims over parties in Downing Street as a new survey suggests most people think he should resign.

It comes after it emerged a socially-distanced drinks gathering was held in the Prime Minister's garden on May 20, 2020 as the country faced some of the toughest lockdown measures. 

The day after the boozy bash Mr Johnson tweeted his praise for the NHS alongside a video of him taking part in the weekly doorstep clapping sessions that were a regular event at the start of the pandemic. 

A new poll released today by Savanta ComRes has found that two thirds of people (66 per cent) believe the Prime Minister should now resign.

So far Mr Johnson and his official spokesman have refused to confirm whether he attended the event, which began at 6pm. An hour before it was due to start, culture secretary Oliver Dowden addressed a press conference where he told the public: "You can meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor, public place provided that you stay two metres apart." 

The event at the Downing Street garden breaches these rules, and was thought to have been attended by around 30 people, with a further 70 being invited.  

According to the Savanta ComRes poll, 42% of people who voted for the Tories in 2019 say that the Prime Minister - 9% more than those who said the same thing following the Christmas party allegations which emerged last year.

There has been a 12% rise overall in those who believe he should now quit, compared to those who thought he should leave office after the Christmas party claims.

The snap poll also found that almost two thirds of the public (62%) thought the garden party saga is a worse breach of trust than the Christmas Party scandal that contributed to the Prime Minister’s plummeting poll ratings at the back end of 2021.

Two thirds (65%) of people also believe Martin Reynolds, the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary who sent the email inviting over 100 Downing Street staff to the drinks event, should resign.

This morning Downing Street said the Prime Minister has full confidence in Mr Reynolds. 

Elsewhere in the poll, three quarters (77%) said that the Metropolitan Police should formally investigate any alleged breaches of Covid restrictions in No.10 on the 20 May.

Researchers surveyed 1,040 UK adults online today to obtain the results.

John Curtice, polling expert and Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde, said the results were difficult for Mr Johnson.

Speaking on Sky News he said: "The crucial thing is that a fair body of people who voted for the Conservatives in 2019 are saying that the Prime Minister should resign.

"We also know from the events of last year that Boris Johnson's biggest problems is frankly voters just do not believe him.

"Around two thirds or three quarters of people thought that there was a party in December, and I'm sure they now think that there was one last May (2020) and around two thirds of people last month were saying 'We just don't think the Prime Minister was telling the truth'.

"That included around a half of people who voted for Boris Johnson in 2019. So the problem  Boris Johnson faces is it is not only his probity now being challenged, but also his credibility, his honesty, and that's something he very, very badly needs to turn around."