Facing a “mutiny” within his government and the Conservative Party, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson clung to power on Thursday, after a dark day marked by an avalanche of Cabinet defections and ever-increasing calls for his resignation.
“Johnson is fighting for his survival,” a Times headline on Thursday summed up the sentiment in the British press after what the Daily Telegraph described as a government “rebellion” that resulted in the departure of dozens of ministers and advisers over two days.
The waltz of resignations began on Tuesday evening when, without warning, health ministers Sajid Javid and Nidhi Rishi Sunak knocked on the door, followed by other members of the government, with lower ranks.
On Wednesday evening, the number of departures was forty, including the Minister responsible for Wales, Simon Hart.
Caught up in repeated false accusations, Boris Johnson brushed aside calls for his resignation throughout the day, including among his loyalists, and in the evening sacked his minister, Michael Gove, responsible for regional restructuring, calling for his departure in the morning. .
British media reported that several senior ministers had called for his resignation as the situation spiraled out of control. Among the names cited were Home Minister Priti Patel and Nadeem Zahavi, within 24 hours of his appointment as Finance Minister.
Boris Johnson replied to ministers and MPs that he wanted to devote himself to the “most pressing issues” facing the country, according to the press.
“We will continue with the government of this country”, the prime minister promised before the leaders of the parliamentary committees in the afternoon, confirming moments later that he had had a “tremendous” week.
Boris Johnson has ruled that it is not “responsible” to leave power in the current climate, amid a buying power crisis and war in Ukraine.
Earlier, during the weekly question session before delegates, punctuated by laughter and jeers, he affirmed that the “magnificent mandate” entrusted to him by voters in 2019 has given him a duty to “continue”. .
Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer slammed the “pathetic spectacle” of the end of the regime, while Scottish nationalist SNP leader of the House of Commons Ian Blackford called for a snap election. An idea Boris Johnson rejected out of hand.
– “By Boris” –
The resigned ministers slammed the government leader and questioned his integrity.
In front of MPs, Sajid Javid, hoping Boris Johnson won’t change, described his reasons for leaving: “That’s enough”, he began, before some MPs resumed the “Bye Boris” banter, two.
The resignations of Mr Javid and his finance colleague were announced on Tuesday evening as Boris Johnson apologized after a fresh scandal.
Mr. Johnson admitted in February that he had made a “mistake” in appointing Chris Fincher, the deputy chief “whip” responsible for parliamentary order for Conservative MPs, to his government. He resigned last week after being accused of touching two men.
By contrast, Downing Street said on Tuesday that the prime minister had been informed of the old allegations against Mr Fincher as early as 2019, but admitted he had “forgotten” them.
According to a Savanta ComRes poll published on Wednesday, 72% of Britons believe the Prime Minister should step down.
Mr Johnson, already significantly weakened by a scandal involving illegal parties in Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic, survived a no-confidence vote from his own camp a few weeks ago.
But according to the British press, behind the scenes, anti-Johnsons are maneuvering to speed up a new referendum by overturning the current rule that protects the head of government for another eleven months.
The election of the executive office of the competent “Committee 1922” to settle the question is to be held on Monday.
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