10:58 GMT21 January 2021
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    A group of UK Conservative MPs has repeatedly berated Boris Johnson for his handling of the COVID-19 fallout in the country, which is currently in the grip of a new lockdown to curb the spread of the disease amid an outbreak of a new, more contagious strain of the virus.

    At least 43% percent of respondents believe that Boris Johnson should step down as the UK prime minister, while about 40% think that he should stay in office, a new Opinium/Observer poll has revealed.

    As far as Conservative voters are concerned, 87% of them insisted that he should continue carrying out his duties, with just 7% calling for Johnson's resignation, according to the survey.

    The prime minister's overall approval rating, which currently stands at 37%, fell by one point when compared to a previous survey. About 45% of respondents dislike Johnson serving as the PM, up one point from the earlier poll.

    Johnson's handling of COVID-19 was disapproved by 45% of voters, while 35% gave him a thumbs up for his response to the crisis.

    The poll, which surveyed 2,003 adults in the UK on 6-7 January, comes amid continued criticism of the prime minister's measures to grapple with the coronavirus by some Tory backbenchers.

    These include his recent announcement of a new national lockdown to contain a spike in COVID-19 infections amid an outbreak of a new strain of the virus which is up to 50 percent more contagious than the existing variant.

    According to the Johns Hopkins University's latest estimates, the UK has so far registered 3,026,342 cases of the coronavirus, with 81,000 COVID-related fatalities.

    A YouGov poll conducted in May 2020 revealed that a total of 57% of respondents said that Johnson was doing "very well" or "fairly well" as the PM, while 35% argued that he was performing "very badly" or "fairly badly".

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, respondents, poll, resignation, Boris Johnson, Britain
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