Boris Johnson’s future as UK prime minister on hold amid calls to resign

Boris Johnson’s rule as prime minister is increasingly dependent on the outcome of a potentially fatal report being prepared by a senior official, as he has faced rude calls for his resignation from their deputies.

Johnson apologized yesterday for attending a “Bring Your Wine” party in Downing Street Park in May 2020, when the rest of the country was on lockdown.

He insisted he thought the party was work-related, but said he realized “in hindsight I had to get everyone back inside.”

He said an investigation led by Senior Official Sue Gray was examining the situation but agreed that “there are things we simply haven’t corrected and I should take responsibility.”

The scandal prompted angry Conservative MPs to demand the prime minister’s resignation.

And although cabinet ministers moved to defend Johnson, the belated interventions of Secretary of State Liz Truss and Chancellor Rishi Sunak – both potential successors – did little to instill confidence in his future.

Sunak spent the day away from London on a visit to Devon.

Johnson faced open rebellion from one wing of his party, with Murray’s MP and Scottish Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross calling for him to resign. According to reports, he has been joined by all 31 Conservative Party members.

At Westminster, three other MPs joined their cause – Roger Gill, Caroline Knox, and Chair of the Public and Constitutional Affairs Committee William Wragg.

House Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed those who had been telling Johnson to go, calling them “people who are not always happy”.

But a YouGov poll for The Times, which was conducted before Johnson’s apology in the prime minister’s questions, put Labor 10 points ahead of the Conservatives for the first time in nearly a decade.

Johnson said in the House of Commons: “I know the anger they (the public) feel with me and the government I lead when they think of Downing Street itself, the rules are not being followed properly by the people who make the rules.”

Johnson’s future would depend on the number of letters of no confidence given to the chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, Graham Brady.

Brady will not reveal how many messages have been received until the 15% figure is reached, which will result in a vote of confidence. With the current parliamentary makeup, this means 54 characters.

Ross confirmed he had sent his message, and said Johnson’s position was “no longer tenable” and “I don’t think he can continue as the leader of the Conservatives”.

“You have no bottle fetching action events in Downing Street, as far as I know” and “I think it is time for the prime minister to go with dignity as he chooses, or for the 1922 commission to step in,” Gale told the Palestinian News Agency.

“The position of the prime minister is untenable and I do not think that it should be left to the results of a civil servant to determine the future of the prime minister,” Warage, deputy chair of the 1922 Committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. “And indeed, who governs this country.”

“I think it is up to the Conservative Party – if not actually the Prime Minister – to make that decision.”

ITV’s Knox Beston told ITV that the prime minister had “put himself in an impossible position”.

She said Johnson “did a great job” in the 2019 election, but added: “Now unfortunately he seems to be a burden, and I think he’s either going now, or he’s going three years later in a general election, and he’s to the party to decide which direction it’s going to go. I know that My thoughts are that he is hurting us now.”

Labor leader Keir Starmer has also called on the prime minister to resign, as have Westminster SNP leader Ian Blackford and Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey.

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Johnson’s press secretary insisted he was not a liar and “isn’t resigning,” but dismissed questions as “hypothetical” about whether that could change after Gray’s report is published.

Hannah Brady of the Covid-19 campaign group Bereaved Families for Justice, whose father Sean Brady died just days before the Bring Your Own Alcohol event, said that if Johnson did not step down, MPs had a “moral duty” to remove him. .

However, the majority of the Conservative Party retained their lawyers until the Gray report, which is understood not to be ready until next week.

Ministers were repeatedly referred to investigation when questioned.

Downing Street previously said any questions about party details were a matter of the investigation.

“It is important that we get the details, which is why it is important that Sue Gray’s report be delivered quickly,” Education Minister Nadim Zahawi told Biston.

But Knox said that while she trusted Gray to “get deeper” what happened and tell the truth, she was not clear about who would be responsible for imposing any sanctions.

“Then, of course, the ministerial law – which may or may not have been broken – the final verdict is the prime minister himself,” she said.

She said she would “not be surprised” if Gray referred any evidence she found to Lord Gedette, the prime minister’s independent ethics advisor.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo