Is this the beginning of the end for Boris Johnson? The question is no longer posed only by political opponents of the British Prime Minister, but is now formulated in his own conservative camp. “There is an end-of-regime stench emanating from Downing Street that it is no longer possible to ignore”, writes Allister Heath, one of the editors of the Daily Telegraph, in the columns of the daily of the British right, Thursday, December 9.
Surrounded by business, the leader on whom the scandals slipped until then without too much damage is now in a hurry to explain. And rumors are rampant about a possible internal competition to replace him: “Yes, these conversations are taking place, the deputies are talking to me about it”, Lord Gavin Barwell said on Friday at the microphone of BBC Radio 4. The elected officials are “Frustrated” by the cases involving Downing Street, added this influential tory, and the press revelations, almost daily, on the supposed extent of the scandals “Are incredibly damaging” for the party.
“The competitors are starting to revolve around a prime minister in danger”, still headlines the daily The Independent, insisting on the ambitions of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak or Foreign Minister Liz Truss, considered credible contenders for the leadership of the Conservative Party, and who, in recent days, have been careful not to come to the aid of their leader. “I was too busy negotiating trade deals to attend Christmas parties last year,” just said Mme Truss on the radio, Friday.
Holidays in full sanitary restrictions
It has been six weeks since the national media devoted their headlines to potential scandals involving Mr Johnson, and in recent days the pace of disclosures has accelerated further. The month of November was dominated by suspicion of corruption within the Tories, after an unsuccessful attempt by the Prime Minister to spare a friendly MP Owen Paterson punishment for pocketing hefty lobbying revenues. Then, at the beginning of December, the Daily Mirror recounted that a Christmas party was held in Downing Street bringing together “Dozens of people”, on December 18, 2020, when gatherings of two people from different homes were prohibited, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The BBC or the Times In turn corroborate the scoop, the existence of other parties is put forward, but the spokesperson for Downing Street continues to deny their existence. This position becomes even harder to hold after the disclosure, Tuesday, December 7, ofa video showing Allegra Stratton, a spokesperson for Mr Johnson, joking at the end of 2020 about the supposed Downing Street parties. “The Prime Minister takes the British for fools”, castigates Keir Starmer, the Labor leader. Mme Stratton resigns.
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Boris Johnson’s party too many in the UK