United Kingdom | A delegation of ministers will call on Boris Johnson to step down

(London) Amid an avalanche of resignations from his government and calls for his resignation, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday showed his determination to stay in power despite the unprecedented crisis into which the scandals repeatedly plunged him.

Posted at 12:01
Updated at 12:34 p.m

Pauline FROISSART
Media Agency France

Far from the triumph of his 2019 Downing Street debut on a pledge to deliver Brexit, the Conservative leader faced the toughest day of his tenure on Wednesday, hemmed in by embarrassing cases and their barrage of lying allegations.

According to several British media outlets, a delegation including several senior ministers was preparing to ask him to resign. Asked about this at a hearing before the chairmen of parliamentary committees, Boris Johnson replied that he would “not comment live on political events”. “We will proceed with the government of this country,” he said, shortly after claiming he had had a “great” week.

Without warning, Health Minister Sajid Javid and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak slammed the door on Tuesday night, triggering the bleeding. Other lower-ranking members of the government have gradually thrown in the towel, taking the total of departures to over 30 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Boris Johnson remained combative. He judged that in the current context between the purchasing power crisis and the war in Ukraine, he was not “responsible” for relinquishing power.

Earlier, during the weekly question-and-answer session before MPs, which was punctuated by laughter and loud jeers, Boris Johnson said the “enormous mandate” given to him by voters in 2019 gave him a duty to ” to carry on”.

Opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer slammed a “pathetic spectacle” at the end of the government, while Scottish nationalist SNP leader in the House of Commons Ian Blackford called for snap general elections. An idea that Boris Johnson flatly rejected in the afternoon.

“Bye Boris”

The resigning ministers addressed sharp words to the head of government and questioned his honesty.

Speaking to MPs, Sajid Javid explained the reasons behind his departure, confident Boris Johnson would not change: “That’s enough,” he started, before some MPs launched a sneering “Bye Boris” from the One Two.

The resignation of Mr Javid and his finance colleague was announced on Tuesday night just as Boris Johnson had apologized following a new scandal.

Mr Johnson admitted he made a “mistake” in appointing Chris Pincher to his government in February, the “whip” deputy boss responsible for parliamentary discipline for Conservative MPs. The latter resigned last week after being accused of touching two men.

After claims to the contrary were made, Downing Street admitted on Tuesday that the Prime Minister had been briefed on old allegations against Mr Pincher back in 2019 but had “forgotten” about them.

“Integrity” in question

For Mr Javid, 52, Britons have the right to expect “integrity from their government”.

Boris Johnson quickly replaced the two resignations by appointing his education minister Nadhim Zahawi for finance and Steve Barclay, previously responsible for government coordination, for health. But since then, departures have multiplied. Early Wednesday afternoon, five foreign ministers jointly announced their resignation and called on Boris Johnson to resign. A sixth resignation among foreign ministers followed minutes later.

According to a Savanta ComRes poll released on Wednesday, 72% of Britons believe the Prime Minister should resign.

Mr Johnson, already significantly weakened by the Downing Street illegal partying scandal during the COVID-19 pandemic, survived a no-confidence vote from his own camp a few weeks ago.

But according to the British press, the anti-Johnson are maneuvering behind the scenes to quickly enable a new vote by changing the current rule, which protects the PM for another 11 months. On Wednesday afternoon, the executive bureau of the powerful “Committee 1922” responsible for resolving the issue was to meet.

Leave a Comment