Monday morning UK news briefing: No 10 police quizzed by Sue Gray – The Telegraph

Also from this morning's Front Page newsletter: Ukraine urges Britain to send troops & nine practical midlife health habits. Sign up below
Boris Johnson is facing one of his most pivotal weeks since taking office, as he awaits a report into alleged rule-breaking parties. 
The Telegraph can disclose that police officers who guard Downing Street have been interviewed by Sue Gray for her "partygate" investigation. 
Members of the Metropolitan Police’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command, who were on duty when a series of lockdown gatherings are alleged to have taken place, have provided testimonies about what they witnessed. 
The statements – described by one source as "extremely damning" – are expected to form a key part of the inquiry, along with Mr Johnson’s official diary
The report is due to be published within days and could prompt Tory MPs to move against the Prime Minister. 
Asked how significant the police disclosures were, a source said: "Put it this way, if Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister by the end of the week, I’d be very surprised." Read more from Crime Correspondent Martin Evans.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has ordered a Cabinet Office investigation into claims that the Chief Whip cited an MP’s Muslim faith when she was sacked from the front bench.
Mark Spencer took the highly unusual step of outing himself as the whip referred to in Islamophobia claims made by Nusrat Ghani, who said that her "Muslimness" was raised when she was fired as a junior transport minister in 2020. 
As Deputy Political Editor Lucy Fisher reports, Ms Ghani accused the Prime Minister of failing to take the matter seriously when she reported it to him directly.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK has called for British soldiers to be deployed in the event of a Russian invasion. Vadym Prystaiko said Britain offered "special support" within Nato and that Kyiv would "invite partners like Britain to intervene with actual soldiers on Ukrainian soil, given that we are threatened by military forces much greater than our own". Overnight, the United States ordered the families of its diplomats in the Ukrainian capital to leave the country "due to the continued threat". It comes after Britain accused Russia of plotting to install a puppet leader, as James Rothwell reports from Kyiv. And Ambrose Evans-Pritchard explains why Vladimir Putin will never have another chance like this to overthrow the European strategic order.
Given up on your New Year’s resolutions to improve your well-being? If you have already ditched the diet, you are not alone. Adopting a healthier lifestyle as we get older is not something we can afford to ignore. But fear not – Sam Rice has the solution to long-term success, with nine practical midlife health habits that should stick and are proven to deliver results.
View Blower‘s latest cartoon as he imagines life inside a civil servant’s home-working setup. Matt is away.
Trawlers are ‘napalming Channel’ | Foreign trawlers are dumping fish in the Channel and the Government is refusing to take action to curb the practice. Footage obtained by The Telegraph shows a Dutch fly-shooter dumping thousands of fish by cutting open a net. There are strict limits on bass because of depleted numbers, but fly-shooters catch them accidentally while fishing for other species and must then return them.
More than 200 people have been killed in clashes between Islamic State (IS) and US-backed Kurdish forces in north-east Syria after the jihadists launched an assault on a prison holding thousands of its former fighters. Reporting from Beirut, Abbie Cheeseman says the violence marks the Islamist group’s most vicious assault since it lost its territory in Syria.
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger became the latest victim of an alarming rise in fan disorder in the English game that has prompted the Football Association to launch a series of investigations. Rudiger was hit by lighters thrown from the Tottenham Hotspur supporters during the second half of Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over their London rivals. Chief Football Correspondent Jason Burt has our Stamford Bridge report.
The pandemic has "levelled down" by harming prosperous cities more than poor regions. Central London businesses have lost almost a year of sales since Covid began, according to the Centre for Cities, with Birmingham and Edinburgh hit almost as hard. These are the areas of the UK that were impacted the most. Meanwhile, Britain’s ageing population has helped push up the price of bungalows at an even faster rate than the rest of Britain’s buoyant property market.
Breaded pork escalopes with cabbage, apple and fennel slaw | When time is of the essence, this is an easy – and delicious – midweek-dinner win. View the recipe. For more, try our Cookbook newsletter.
February can be a bleak prospect for European weather. But with school half-term holidays falling in the middle of the month, parents have the opportunity to whisk their children to a destination where the sun shines in earnest. This may cause crowded beaches in popular places, but there is plenty of time for travellers without offspring to find their own escape zone. Chris Leadbeater picks 10 of the best destinations.
Britney versus Jamie Lynn | What seemed like liberation for Britney Spears has descended into turmoil once more. But why has her sister apparently turned against her this time? Eleanor Margolis covers the toxic saga of the Spears siblings.
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