The pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to mount with reports emerging once again of him attending a Downing Street park party during the lockdown. Martin Rapay, journalist for De Morgen, explains. “He foresaw a growing crisis of confidence within his conservative group.”
What is happening in the UK?
Boris Johnson is under fire more than ever for violating Covid rules in Downing Street, where he has his official residence and ministry. There have been some scandals about smaller parties at his official residence, but now former collaborator Dominic Cummings has already thrown a bombshell. On May 20, 2020, an invitation was sent to about a hundred employees, asking them to relax in the garden in Downing Street after a difficult few weeks.
The problem here is in terms of timing. At the time, you were only allowed to see one person outside your household. On the other hand, the wording of the leaked invitation. For example, this email, sent by his private secretary, says: “We would be glad if you joined us.” This gives the impression that Johnson himself was involved in the organization.”
“The situation is currently so serious that the London police immediately opened an investigation, cooperating with the prime minister’s immediate environment since this morning. So we will have to see if this has a legal tail, but the political ramifications will also be very significant. Johnson has already come under heavy fire for Other covid violations and his political leadership over the past few months.”
Will Johnson survive this politically?
“If he cannot distance himself from this, this may just be the beginning of the end for Johnson. If it turns out that he was actively involved in organizing the party, his position – not immediately, but nonetheless in the short term – would come under very severe pressure.”
If the pressure becomes unbearable, he may decide to quit. A second possibility is that within the Conservative Party, where many people are already turning against him, internal rivals will rise up to oust him. I expect to see the latter in particular: a growing crisis of confidence within his conservative group.
Then there could be a vote of confidence within your group, but it could also be that this vote could be requested in the entire House of Commons. And then we’ll have to wait and see if the Conservatives vote against it, too. In other words, there are several ways to make it difficult for him. Johnson is really in trouble.”
Why are there so many scandals now?
“Ex-Johnson’s advisor Cummings, who left with fanfare at the time, certainly plays a big role in this, but there are a lot of dissatisfied camps. The fact that so much has been leaked now tells us something about trust within the government. So it seems that the glue of his cabinet is eroding. Few Of the ministers still supporting him through thick and thin in the media, and more ministers began to put their own dialects.
So we have to watch how other ministers will react in the coming period. There are young, ambitious politicians who don’t want their careers to be tainted by Johnson.”
What can the prime minister do by himself?
“During the previous riots, he was still able to get himself out of it, but then a high-ranking official had to resign. Of course you can’t continue sacrificing employees if you are always around. At some point he will have to take responsibility. Either it goes deep into the dust. , with a public apology, or this scandal is too much.”
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