Thursday, May 19

Partygate: Boris Johnson combative despite the rebellion of his majority

Defection, plot of young elected officials to dislodge him and calls for resignation … Despite the growing rebellion within his majority, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on an ejection seat, showed himself determined on Wednesday to remain in office.

After making repeated apologies and appearing contrite on television in recent days, the Tory leader struck a combative tone in front of MPs, defending his policies, attacking the opposition and announcing the imminent end of most of the anti-corruption restrictions. -Covid.

In an increasingly precarious position, he had to face a new series of calls for resignation, from the opposition but also from an elected member of his majority, David Davis.

“In the name of God, go!” launched the latter, taking up a famous phrase from British parliamentary history and becoming the seventh Conservative MP to openly ask for his departure.

The 57-year-old leader, whose popularity until recently was stainless, is going through his worst crisis since his brilliant accession to power in the summer of 2019.

His apology in Parliament last week – where he acknowledged his presence at one of these parties in May 2020 while claiming to have thought it was a working meeting – did not calm the game.

A new poll published by Channel 4 gives Labor an 11-point lead in voting intentions and suggests that in the event of a legislative election soon, the Conservatives will lose many of the seats won in 2019 in the “Red Wall” formerly won by Labor in the north of England.

– “Defend the indefensible” –

Within the new elected representatives of these popular regions, seduced by Brexit and Boris Johnson’s “leveling up” promises, anger is brewing. The weekly session of questions to the Prime Minister started with the defection of one of them, MP Christian Wakeford who joined Labour.

“You and the Conservative Party as a whole have failed to provide the leadership and government this country deserves,” the MP for Bury South told him in a message.

Facing Boris Johnson, Labor leader Keir Starmer showed off his new recruit on the Labor benches in the House of Commons and accused the Prime Minister of ‘defending the indefensible’ over parties held in Downing Street during traumatic lockdowns for the British.

“The Conservative Party won Bury South for the first time in generations under this prime minister…and we will win again in the next general election with this prime minister,” Boris Johnson replied, suggesting he would lead the race. campaign for the next legislative elections, scheduled for 2024.

– “Pork pie” conspiracy –

And according to the British press, around 20 other young Conservative MPs met on Tuesday to discuss a vote of no confidence.

These Tories, from the constituencies snatched from the Labor Party during the 2019 legislative elections, believe they have gathered enough votes to overthrow it, in what the press is already dubbing the “pork pie plot”, a pie that is a specialty of the constituency of one of these elected officials.

To oust him from the head of the Conservative Party – and thereby from Downing Street -, at least 54 Tories would have to send a letter to the “1922 committee”, responsible for the parliamentary organization of the formation, to demand a vote of defiance.

The press wonders if the bar will be reached with the revolt of young elected officials, but many parliamentarians seem to want to wait for the conclusions of the investigation carried out on these festive events by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

In difficulty, the government of Boris Johnson has planned a series of measures with populist accents nicknamed in the press “Operation bone to gnaw”: recourse to the army to block the arrival of migrants through the Channel or the envisaged end of the fee financing the BBC, two sensitive subjects for its base.

On Wednesday, he also initiated the lifting of most of the anti-Covid restrictions imposed in December to fight against the Omicron variant in England, considered to be draconian by part of his majority.

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