Boris Johnson defends measures as more Conservative allies resign

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LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting for his political career on Wednesday as ministers and aides continued to quit his government and a former top cabinet minister offered a blistering criticism of Johnson’s leadership.

Johnson sought to move on from Tuesday’s dramatic events, which saw the bombshell resignations of two of his senior cabinet ministers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid – both of whom have their own power bases in the party. To be future leadership contenders.

Johnson’s efforts to fill top roles quickly, and — despite still being junior — haven’t stopped a wave of resignations. Within 24 hours, 26 conservative politicians resigned from their positions in protest of Johnson’s leadership.

The resignations that have followed a series of scandals have prompted many questions: How long can Johnson survive? Is this The end game For Johnson? Is there any way to get him out?

In a fiery session of the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions, Johnson dismissed calls for his resignation.

I asked Johnson said he would resign if he could not continue in government if there were circumstances that would require him to step down, a fellow Conservative said. “Obviously, the job of a prime minister in a difficult situation, when you’re given an enormous mandate, is to keep going, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

In a sign of the mood of the session, at one point a group of opposition Labor lawmakers shouted “bye” at Johnson.

Javid, the resigned former health secretary, launched a scathing criticism of the prime minister, telling parliament that “he has found it impossible to walk the tightrope between loyalty and honesty in recent months”. He said senior figures told him late last year that no parties were taking place in Downing Street during the pandemic lockdowns. The police investigation into “Particate” ended 126 penaltyIncluding one for Johnson.

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UK ‘Partygate’ investigation ends with 126 fines, no citations for Boris Johnson

Javid added, “Once again this week, we have reason to question the truth and integrity of what we’ve all been told,” he said, referring to a separate scandal involving Chris Fincher, who recently stepped down as deputy chief whip following his indictment. Drunk attacked two people. Downing Street initially said Johnson was not aware of any allegations of misconduct when he offered Prime Minister Pincher a key government post, but later admitted Johnson was aware of an inquiry in 2019 that confirmed similar complaints.

The resignation of top UK ministers and the plight of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government dominated British newspaper headlines on July 6. (Video: Reuters)

“The problem starts at the top,” Javid said.

As Javid spoke, another minister resigned.

Boris Johnson’s latest scandal prompts top ministers to resign

A majority of the British public think Johnson should throw in the towel. A YouGov poll A poll released on Tuesday showed 69 percent of Britons said Johnson should resign – including a majority of Conservative voters (54 percent).

Only 18 percent of Britons say Johnson should stay.

Johnson has made it clear — and it’s up to him — that he’s going to stay where he is. Under current Conservative Party rules, there is no formal way for Johnson’s critics to quickly oust him. Because Johnson survived — narrowly — A A vote of no confidence From his party last month, he was officially barred from further party challenges for a year.

Rob Ford, a political expert at the University of Manchester, said the Brexit vote drew parallels with 2016, when there were mass resignations from the opposition Labor shadow cabinet aimed at pressuring Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn. Some leaders may have read the room and decided to leave, Ford said, noting that Corbyn is not leader until the spring of 2020.

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“Similarly, with Johnson, there’s widespread opposition to his leadership. You’ve got a leader who won’t give in to informal pressures, and the only formal mechanism you have is not available. So you’re in a desperate situation,” Ford said.

Boris Johnson survived but was weakened by the no-confidence vote

There has been a lot of talk in recent days about how to change party rules. In the coming days, Conservative lawmakers will elect new members of the powerful 1922 committee, which makes the rules. Some of those campaigning for the roles have suggested they support allowing another no-confidence vote.

Meanwhile, the number of resignations, including former loyalists, continued to rise. Analysts say Johnson is lucky because the stated reasons for the loss of confidence appear to be different — his critics have not coalesced around one issue, as those who helped oust Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, did when they ousted him. .

While Johnson could remain active until another confidence vote is held, Ford said the chances of him leading the Conservative Party into the next general election, scheduled for 2025, were slim.

“At the very least, another confidence vote is possible 11 months from now. What exactly will change between now and then to restore confidence in Johnson?” Ford asked. “At this point, I think it’s going to take something close to a biblical miracle.” Nothing can be ruled out with a lucky politician in British politics, but it takes something extraordinary.

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