Boris Johnson has been discredited by the Downing Street COVID scandal
By: Charlotte Hui
A couple of nights ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of no confidence from his conservative party, despite widespread dissatisfaction with his leadership.
Boris Johnson won the party’s secret ballot by 211 votes to 148, more than the 180 votes he needed to remain in office. He has kept his seat mainly because the party lacks a suitable successor.
At the beginning of the pandemic, he hosted a party that broke COVID-19 lockdown rules at his residence and office at No. 10 Downing St. His lack of restraint while the country was following protocols, had the public and members within his party, demanding that he resigned.
Although Johnson denied most of the allegations, his reputation and credibility suffered serious damage.
“For you to prolong this charade by remaining in office not only insults the electorate, and the tens of thousands of people who support, volunteer, represent and campaign for our party,” lawmaker Jesse Norman, a former Johnson ally, said.
When he got questioned by the public, he deflected and spoke out in support of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Karl Turner of the Labour Party accused Johnson of getting votes by dragging the Ukrainian president into a Conservative civil war.
At the same time, Keir Starmer, Turner’s ally, said, “divided Tories propping up Boris Johnson” will have “no plan to tackle the issues you are facing.”
There have been 54 letters of no-confidence in Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party since the Queen’s Jubilee celebration, with 15 percent of lawmakers questioning whether the president is up to the job.
However, Supporters of Boris Johnson say now is not a good time to change the president.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss said, “The Prime Minister has my 100% backing in today’s vote, and I strongly encourage colleagues to support him … He has apologized for mistakes made. We must now focus on economic growth.”
On the other hand, the former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said Boris Johnson would discredit the Conservatives.
“Having been trusted with power, Conservative MPs know in our hearts we are not giving the British people the leadership they deserve. We are not offering the integrity, competence, and vision necessary to unleash the enormous potential of our country,” he said.
“And because we are no longer trusted by the electorate, who know this too, we are set to lose the next general election.”