In the face of a mounting number of resignations from his administration in displeasure with his leadership, Boris Johnson is fighting to hold onto his position.Following the resignations of his predecessor, the health secretary, and a number of junior ministers, the new chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, has called for unity.Six more resignations, bringing the total for the day to 16, have hurt the prime leader.
He is getting ready for PMQs, where senior MPs will question him. The abrupt resignations of Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have cast Mr. Johnson’s premiership into disarray.
Following a disagreement over Mr. Johnson’s choice to name Chris Pincher deputy chief whip earlier this year, they resigned on Tuesday just minutes apart. They left behind a tsunami of resignations from lower-level positions that has continued today, Wednesday.
Education ministers Will Quince and Robin Walker, justice minister Victoria Atkins, treasury minister John Glen, and ministerial assistants Laura Trott and Felicity Buchan have all left before PMQs in six more instances. Despite being aware of the charges of wrongdoing against Mr. Pincher, Mr. Johnson has acknowledged it was a “poor error” to appoint him.
It came after days of inconsistent statements from No. 10 regarding the precise information the PM had about Mr. Pincher’s prior behavior when he hired him. Mr. Quince, who was tasked with defending the PM, stated in media interviews two days earlier that Downing Street had given him “inaccurate” information.
In his letter of resignation, he claimed that reiterating No. 10’s commitments was his “only option” and that he had done so“in good faith.”The dispute over Mr. Pincher’s appointment comes after the Party gate affair and discontent over tax increases weakened the PM’s relationships with his backbenchers.
After surviving a no-confidence vote among Conservative MPs last month, he is exempt from any challenges for a year under the party’s present rules. Liz Truss, the foreign secretary and prospective challenger to the prime minister’s position, has gathered support from several important cabinet members. However, dissident Conservatives want to use a forthcoming vote to the 1922 committee to abolish the one-year break between elections, opening the door for him to face another challenge later this summer.
HOW COULD JOHNSON, BORIS, FAIL?
If party leaders decide to amend the one year rule on leadership challenges, rebel Tory MPs may try to have him removed once more later this summer or in the fall.
Mr. Johnson would have to resign or call an election if he lost a vote of no confidence in Parliament.
If not, he would have to step down on his own, maybe under pressure from the cabinet like Margaret Thatcher did or following a new round of resignations from ministers.
Last month’s losses in the by-elections in Tiverton, Honiton, and Wakefield as well as the departure of Oliver Dowden as chairman of the Conservative Party increased the pressure on the prime minister.
According to Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, if the prime minister does not step down, “the party will have to force him out.”
The 1922 committee will handle this troubled prime minister; that is why it was established, he asserted.
Before Parliament’s summer break in two weeks, according to 1922 executive committee member Bob Blackman, elections to replace the executive team will be held. Rebel Tories hope to use this opportunity to change the rules governing leadership.
In the meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir declared that the nation needed a change of administration and that he would support a snap election.
He stated: “It’s obvious that this Tory government is now falling after all the scandal and all the failure.”
While the 2024 general election is anticipated, Mr. Johnson might call one earlier if he so chooses.
Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, urged the Conservatives to “get rid of Boris Johnson immediately” as part of their “patriotic duty”.
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, declared that Mr. Johnson’s government should be replaced with “the whole rotten bunch,” accusing the ministers of “lying to the public.”
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