Tuesday, May 24

Many believe that Boris Johnson must go to a garden party. These are the scandals he has escaped.

More and more critical voices believe Boris Johnson is singing the last verse as prime minister. However, the scandalous party in the garden of the prime minister’s residence is not the first time Johnson has been in bad weather.

Elton John sang in 1976 that “sorry seems to be the hardest word”. 45 years later, his prime minister had no problem saying “sorry” to the British Parliament. But Boris Johnson spoke for deaf ears among his critics.

It’s not just Adam and Eve who do things they are not allowed to do in gardens. Boris Johnson attended a garden party at the Prime Minister’s residence while the rest of the UK was shut down. Now more and more voices are joining the choir who believe that Johnson sings the last verse.

Johnson also hears it from his own ranks. His counterpart in Scotland, Douglas Ross, describes the situation as follows:

– I must unfortunately say that it is no longer possible to defend that he continues as prime minister.

Ross leads the Scottish Conservatives Tory-partiet. However, he emphasizes that he only speaks about Johnson as a Member of Parliament.

On Wednesday, Johnson apologized in a speech to parliament. Now the pressure on him is enormous, especially i press. At the time of writing, The Guardian covers the reactions against the British top leader consecutively.

But there is other news about the prime minister that has also come on a close conveyor belt since Johnson was elected in July 2019: Scandal post.

The ingredients include overridden advisers, abuse of power and overpriced losses. Here are four other cases where it has stormed around Johnson:

The hot embrace of the Minister of Health

Johnson has been criticized for supporting several of his closest advisers and party colleagues a little too much. Among other things, when top adviser Dominic Cummings broke the quarantine rules when he was corona sick. Cummings traveled 400 miles from his home. He even explained the trip by saying that he wanted a family member to look after his son.

Dominic Cummings had to leave Downing Street for good after breaking the quarantine rules.

It did not go better when Health Minister Matt Hancock was caught by a surveillance camera in a warm embrace with his adviser in his own office.

The adviser, a former student friend and flame, went from being a lobbyist to being employed in Hancock’s ministry. Both were married and had children. The flirtation was eventually revealed by the tabloid newspaper The Sun.

Hancock issued a statement apologizing. Something the Prime Minister responded by accepting. The case was closed in his eyes, Johnson said in his first statement on the case. Hancock later resigned. Since then, the prime minister has refused to say whether he fired the health minister.

Health Minister Matt Hancock had to resign after the infidelity scandal.

2. «Wallpaper-gate»

Many critics point out that Johnson lacks role understanding and that he is still abusing his power. The refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s residence was an example of this.

Tabloidavisen The Daily Mail published in May last year a series of articles on who actually paid the bill for the renovation of the Prime Minister’s official residence, where Johnson lives with his wife Carrie and their two children. According to the price tag, the renovation must have been of the extreme kind. More than one million kroner was spent on the project.

Two things in particular were criticized: One was the choice of a pig wallpaper. The second was that the Prime Minister hired the exclusive interior designer Lulu Lytle.

In the aftermath of the cases, Downing Street and Johnson’s party have avoided questions about the renovation. Including whether a separate fund was established to pay for the renovation. They also refused to answer whether millionaire David Brownlow had been secretly asked to pay the bill.

The Guardian revealed last week that Johnson sent messages to one of the Tory party’s donors asked for money for the renovation. Johnson regretted that he had not sent the messages to his own ethics committee first. The end of the show was that the prime minister paid himself.

3. Luxury trip to the Caribbean

In December 2019, Boris Johnson and his then girlfriend (now wife) Carrie traveled to the Caribbean on Christmas vacation. The couple spent their holiday in a luxury villa in Mustique. After the trip, however, questions arose about who had paid for the trip, which cost more than 150,000 kroner.

To begin with, Johnson said the holiday was a gift from David Ross, a close friend and founder of Carphone Warehouse. But spokesmen for Ross denied that he had organized the trip. According to them, Ross had not “paid for anything”.

The holiday trip was investigated by Parliament, which concluded that Johnson had not broken any rules. The group that investigated the holiday said that it had been “abnormally difficult” to find out the facts of the case.

Earned millions as a lobbyist while sitting in Parliament

You’ve already read that Johnson has been criticized for expensive aesthetic choices. But he has also been criticized for his ethical assessments.

In November last year, it was revealed that Johnson’s party colleague Owen Paterson had earned millions as a lobbyist. This at the same time as he sat in parliament. Paterson is said to have earned just over 1.2 million kroner a year as a lobbyist, on top of his salary as a member of parliament.

Owen Paterson increased his salary as an elected representative by working as a lobbyist.

Neither the opposition nor the press restrained themselves in the criticism. The ombudsman in parliament chose to expel Paterson from the National Assembly for 30 days.

That “verdict” did not go down well with the leadership of the Conservative party, where Johnson is known to be at the top. They responded by trying to change the entire regulations. Among other things, the Prime Minister’s party comrades wanted to abolish the entire ombudsman scheme. Instead, they wanted to set up a committee of politicians.

The criticism eventually led to Johnson withdrawing his support for the proposals. And Paterson? He withdrew. The scandal also led to his seat in parliament going to a Labor politician for the first time in 200 years.


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