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Boris Johnson defends actions as more Conservative allies resign

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Boris Johnson defends actions as more Conservative allies resign

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting for his political life on Wednesday as a growing number of ministers and aides continued to quit his government, with a former senior cabinet minister delivering a fiery tone on Johnson’s leadership. criticism.

Johnson is trying to emerge from Tuesday’s drama as his two top cabinet ministers – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid – both have their own power bases within the party and are thought to be is a shocking resignation. Become a future leadership contender.

Johnson’s efforts to fill the top job quickly did not stem the tide of further – albeit more junior – resignations. Within 24 hours, at least 26 Conservative politicians resigned in protest against Johnson’s leadership.

The resignation after a series of scandals has raised many questions: How long will Johnson live? Is this the end for Johnson? Is there any way to expel him?

In a heated discussion during his weekly Prime Minister’s question-and-answer session, Johnson dismissed those calling for his resignation.

Asked by a fellow Conservative if there were any circumstances under which he should step down, Johnson said he would resign if the government could not go on. “Frankly, when you’re given a huge task, in difficult circumstances, it’s the prime minister’s job to move on, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

In a sign of the atmosphere at the meeting, a group of opposition Labour MPs waved to Johnson at one point and shouted “goodbye”.

The exodus has been sparked by the resignation of former health minister Javid, who has sharply criticised the prime minister, telling parliament that “walking a tightrope between loyalty and integrity has become impossible in recent months.” He Said he was told by senior figures late last year that there were no parties in Downing Street during the pandemic lockdown. A police investigation into Partygate ended with 126 fines, including one against Johnson.

UK ‘Partygate’ probe ends with 126 fines, no further citations from Boris Johnson

Javid added, “This week, again, we have reason to question the veracity and integrity of the information we have,” he said, referring to another scandal involving Crispincher, who was recently accused of assaulting while intoxicated. two men. Downing Street initially said Johnson was unaware of any previous allegations of wrongdoing when the prime minister gave Pincher a key government job, but later admitted that Johnson was aware of an investigation that backed up a similar complaint in 2019.

On July 6, the resignation of senior British ministers and the plight of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government dominated the headlines of British newspapers. (Video: Reuters)

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

As Javid spoke, another minister resigned.

Boris Johnson’s latest scandal prompts senior ministers to resign

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

Only 18% of the British public think Johnson should stay.

Johnson has made it clear – if up to him – that he will stay put. And under current Conservative Party rules, Johnson’s critics have no formal way of getting rid of him quickly. Since Johnson narrowly survived a no-confidence vote in his party last month, he is officially immune to challenges from other parties for a year.

Rob Ford, a political expert at the University of Manchester, compared it to 2016, when the opposition Labour shadow cabinet resigned en masse in the wake of the Brexit referendum, aimed at putting pressure on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Ford said that while some leaders may have read the boardroom and decided to pull out, Corbyn has not done so and remains a leader until spring 2020.

“Again, with Johnson, there’s a general disapproval of his leadership. You have a leadership that doesn’t succumb to informal pressure, and your only formal mechanism is unavailable. So you’re in a state of uncertainty,” Ford said.

Boris Johnson survives but is weakened by no-confidence vote

There has been a lot of talk in recent days about how to change the party’s rules. In the coming days, Conservative MPs will elect new members to the powerful 1922 committee, which sets the rules. Some campaigning characters said they would support another vote of no confidence.

Meanwhile, the number of quitters, including former loyalists, continues to climb. Analysts say Johnson is lucky, as the stated reasons for the loss of faith appear to be varied – his critics are not united around a single issue, like those of his predecessor Theresa May, who helped shake off Johnson what people did when they abandoned her.

Ford said that while Johnson was likely to limp ahead of another confidence vote, his chances of leading the Conservative Party to the next general election, scheduled for 2025, seemed slim.

“At least, 11 months from now, another vote of confidence is possible. What exactly will change between now and then to restore confidence in Johnson?” Ford asked. “At this point I think it needs something close to a biblical miracle. The luckiest politician in British politics cannot be ruled out, but it requires something extraordinary.”

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