Boris Johnson should resign after party lockdown, top Tory says

LONDON, UK – DECEMBER 8: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a press conference at 10 Downing Street.

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LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership is in jeopardy over a ‘party’ in Downing Street during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown – and allegedly at other government offices The scandal sparked calls for his resignation.

Senior Conservative Party officials called on Johnson to resign as he admitted on Wednesday he had attended garden receptions at the Prime Minister’s Office and Downing Street next door to where he lives during the lockdown, when the public was barred from seeing more than one person in the house they were not living in. together in an outdoor setting.

There has been widespread outrage over reports that the British public has sacrificed their freedom and social life, not to mention the time they spend with their loved ones. Senior officials questioned whether Johnson could still earn the respect of the party and the country.

CNBC has a guide on “Partygate” and why Johnson’s term may be coming to an end.

How is this going?

Johnson admitted that he attended a so-called “bring your own drink” party in Downing Street Gardens during the lockdown, to which about 100 people were reportedly invited.

Speaking in a crowded House of Commons (the lower house of parliament), Johnson offered a “heartfelt apology” to the nation but defended himself, saying he only attended the party for 25 minutes to “thank a group of staff” for their hard work, he” Implicitly believe this is a work event”.

Speaking to parliament, opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said Johnson’s explanation of his presence was “ridiculous and actually offensive to the British public” as he called on Johnson to “do the decent thing and resign”.

Johnson’s party is controversial as it took place on May 20, 2020, when the UK was in the midst of its first Covid-19 lockdown and People across the country are only allowed to meet one other person outside their household, and other strict rules.

It’s also not the first report of a lockdown party held by government officials.

More parties under investigation

Details of the May 20 party organised by the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds emerged after weeks of reports and evidence of various parties and rallies — defended by government officials as “work events” — differed during the pandemic Location of Downing Street and other government offices.

Despite stubborn attempts by the British press to reveal more details of the party, some of which and photos were leaked to the press, the British public is increasingly angry that parties are always socializing when people shouldn’t be there.

For example, in the event of May 20, existing rules meant that separated couples or relatives were not allowed to hug. Non-essential shops, restaurants, pubs and bars were also closed at the time.

People who have lost loved ones during the pandemic scoffed at the government after receiving reports from political parties that they were being deprived of precious time with their families while politicians were ignoring the rules.

Earlier this week, Johnson and his wife Kelly Johnson were asked if they were at the May 20 party But he sidestepped the question, telling a reporter that investigations into several political parties allegedly held and attended by government workers were ongoing.

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is leading the inquiry into whether there were parties breaking the rules, and she is expected to announce her findings next week. Sky News has published the list of accused parties here.

Cabinet secretary Simon Keyes was supposed to lead the inquiry but he was forced to drop out It was revealed that a party was held in his own private office in December 2020, which also violated the regulations at the time.

How bad is Boris?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Houses of Parliament after his weekly PMQ in London, England, January 12, 2022. In today’s Prime Minister’s question, Boris Johnson told the House of Representatives that he spent 25 minutes in the gardens of 10 Downing Street with staff during the coronavirus lockdown, shortly after 6pm on 20 May 2020. He said he “implicitly thought it was a work event” before returning to work on the 10th.

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It has been claimed that letters from Conservative lawmakers calling for a vote of no confidence – requiring 54 letters to provoke a challenge – are being submitted to Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Backbench Committee tasked with overseeing the leadership challenge, According to Sky News.

In worse news for Johnson, a new YouGov and The Times poll showed a sharp drop in support for the Conservative Party, giving Conservative MPs more reason to question the future of Johnson’s government.

Whether Johnson will heed calls to resign is another matter, with reports that he still has the support of his closest ministers, his cabinet. Johnson and his government have weathered political storms before and have taken some credit for “getting Brexit done”. Despite the uproar this week, GBP It was up 0.2% against the dollar on Thursday, with the pound at $1.3728, up nearly 0.2% so far this year.

However, given the low level of public trust in Johnson, Conservative MPs will now assess whether they believe Johnson can win future elections. Local elections, due in May, will be the next test of the strength of public support for the party itself. A closer test for the prime minister will be Sue Gray’s findings following an investigation into the government’s “party”, which will be released next week.

Rod Dacombe, director of the Centre for British Politics and Government at King’s College London, told CNBC on Thursday that Johnson has been “in a perpetual state of crisis” during his prime ministership, which begins in 2019, starting with turbulent Brexit negotiations. And the tormented deal, then the Covid pandemic.

“The danger that the entire Conservative Party faces electoral problems does hang over his head,” he noted. “I think if he doesn’t help the party electorally anymore, he’s going to have a real problem, and that’s what the polling data tells us.”

Dacome believes Johnson “looks like a terminal position, which I think is fair, but I doubt it will be a while before we see any really strong challenges to his leadership,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk”. Box Europeā€¯.

If challenged, there is speculation that Finance Minister Rishi Sunak could come first.Dacomb agreed, saying “By convention, you would think [a challenge] Will be one of the big names in the party…but there’s always the chance that someone is slightly out of the mainstream…so I suggest it’s an open field. “