Boris Johnson cancels first post-lockdown pint on Monday out of respect for Prince Philip as Government business halted


BORIS Johnson has cancelled his first post-lockdown pint on Monday as all Government business is to be halted following the death of Prince Philip.

The PM had planned to visit the barber’s and then the pub to mark the country reaching the next stage of his roadmap out of lockdown.

* Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip’s death

Boris Johnson paid tribute to Prince Philip today

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Boris Johnson paid tribute to Prince Philip todayCredit: No10 Downing Street

But the plans have been scrapped as politics enters a period of mourning for the Duke, who passed away today aged 99.

All ministerial appearances, including media interviews, will be shelved for the foreseeable future.

And the UK’s major parties have agreed to stop campaigning against each other out of respect for the situation.

The PM was uniformed of the Prince’s death this morning while he was working at No 10, and made a statement in Downing St shortly afterwards.

He then spoke to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, and the pair agreed to suspend political campaigning.

Only non-political public messaging, such as public health announcements, will take place during the period of mourning.

Downing St and the Palace are liaising on how long it should last.

But the roadmap out of lockdown will proceed on Monday as planned.

Parliament is being recalled from recess on Monday – a day earlier than planned – so MPs can pay their respects to the Duke.

The siting will begin at 2.30pm, with Mr Johnson leading the tributes.

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But members of the public are being asked not to congregate at Royal households or lay floral tributes due to Coronavirus restrictions.

Officials are keen to avoid the build up of large crowds.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We are asking the public not to gather at Royal Residences, and continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel.

“We are supporting the Royal Household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid at Royal Residences at this time.”

Floral tributes have been laid to the Duke

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Floral tributes have been laid to the DukeCredit: AP
People have been urged not to congregate outside public buildings

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People have been urged not to congregate outside public buildingsCredit: Reuters

Many bouquets have already started to build up at the famous railings of Buckingham Palace throughout the day.

It comes after politicians from across the spectrum paid tribute to Prince Philip, who died today aged 99.

Boris Johnson said the whole country would mourn the passing of a “much-loved and highly respected public figure”.

Paying tribute outside No 10, he said: “It was with great sadness that a short time ago I received word from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has passed away at the age of 99.

“Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.

“He was the longest serving consort in history, one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the Second World War.

“At Cape Matapan, where he was mentioned in despatches for bravery and in the invasion of Sicily, where he saved his ship by his quick thinking.

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“From that conflict he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post-war era.”

 

He added: “Like the expert carriage driver he was he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.

“He was an environmentalist and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

“With his Duke of Edinburgh award scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.”

He added: “We remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen, not just as her consort – by her side every day of her reign – but as her husband, her strength and stay of more than 70 years.

“And it’s to Her Majesty and her family that our nation’s thoughts must turn today, because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather, and in recent years great grandfather.

“Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary Her Majesty said our country owed her husband a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know, and I’m sure that estimate is correct.

“So we mourn today with Her Majesty the Queen, we offer our condolences to her and all her family, and we give thanks as a nation and a kingdom for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

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Sir Keir Starmer added: “The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip.

“Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country – from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the Second World War to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh.

“However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to The Queen.”

He added: “For more than seven decades, he has been at her side.

“Their marriage has been a symbol of strength, stability and hope, even as the world around them changed – most recently during the pandemic. It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond.

“My thoughts are with The Queen, the Royal Family and the British people as our nation comes together to mourn and remember the life of Prince Philip.”

Prince Philip – Mourners descend on Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to pay respects but are dispersed by police





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