Jan 20, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

UK PM fights for survival after lockdown party hangover


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson struggled for his political future on Thursday 13 January when his Conservatives erupted in open internal war after being delayed to attend a party during a coronavirus lockdown.


The apparent breach of Covid restrictions has infuriated the public, who have been forced to conform to rules preventing them from caring for the sick and dying visiting loved ones or attending funerals.

Most cabinet members rallied around Johnson after his mea culpa, but support from some, such as Rishi Sunak, his powerful finance minister and potential successor, was downright lukewarm.

The Prime Minister himself went down on Thursday, announcing a planned trip north from England after a family member announced in scrupulous compliance with his government’s rules was ill with Covid-19.

And the scandal seemed to deepen on Friday, as the conservative-leaning Daily Telegraph published an exclusive allegation that Johnson’s staff had hosted just a few hours a boisterous party ahead of Prince Philip’s socially distanced funeral.

Queen Elizabeth sitting alone in church due to Covid regulations provided one of the most stark images of Britain in lockdown.

While offering “sincere apologies,” Johnson sparked derision this week by saying he believed the May 2020 meeting was a working event.

He urged all sides who Awaiting results of internal inquiry.

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, joined at least four Tory backbench MPs in calling for Johnson to resign after the Prime Minister admitted May 2 020 in his Downing Street garden when Britain was under strict lockdown.

“Unfortunately, I have to say his position is no longer tenable,” Ross told STV.

Cabinet Member Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed Ross as a “lightweight” Tory figure, prompting rebukes from other MPs and warnings that the upper-crust Englishman was backing the case for Scottish independence ence.

< p>Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis insisted Johnson was “very, very sincere” in his apology amid warnings Conservative MPs could mobilize for a vote of no confidence.

“He recognizes the anger the excitement and frustration people feel about what they think happened in number 10. He recognizes that and takes responsibility,” Lewis told BBC Radio.

But Lewis was forced to downplay reports that after his apology in the House of Commons, Johnson had told Ross and other Tories he didn’t believe he done something wrong.

On Wednesday, Labor leader Keir Starmer joined other opposition leaders for the first time in calling for Johnson to resign.

The Prime Minister’s poll numbers have plummeted since last “Partygate” allegations related to events in 2020 have surfaced for the month.

A new poll by YouGov in The Times newspaper gave Labor a 10-point lead over the Tories, their widest lead since 2013 , and said six in 10 voters disagreed that Johnson should resign.

Senior Labor MP Lisa Nandy said the Prime Minister is likely to face new revelations after Johnson earlier in Parlam ent had insisted no Covid rules had been broken in 2020.

Relatives betrayed by Covid and unable to say a final goodbye felt “appalled, appalled and traumatized again” by Johnsons Attending the party, Nandy said on ITV, urging police to investigate.

London’s Metropolitan Police have not ruled out a criminal investigation into the party, which came at a time when Britons were banned from attending to meet outdoors.

But for now, Johnson’s fate appears to be in the hands of senior official Sue Gray , whom he has tasked with investigating the May 2020 event and other Downing Street gatherings this year .

Chancellor Sunak, who was significantly absent from the House of Commons on Wednesday, said Johnson was right to apologize and ask for “patience” pending Gray’s report.

Another pot external min Isterin Liz Truss, Johnson’s main contender, also took hours to publicly express support but said she was “100 per cent” behind the Prime Minister on the government’s post-Brexit and post-pandemic priorities.

“The prime minister adheres to the principles of public office,” he told reporters, stressing that Johnson had promised to publish Gray’s report and then brief Parliament.

The government suffered on Another hit Thursday with the news that her Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam – a gifted and scintillating communicator during the pandemic – was leaving to return to science.