UK in spiral as Boris Johnson faces crumbling support: 'The noose is tightening'

Source: www.foxnews.com : 2022-07-06 17:57:16 : Peter Aitken

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces an increasingly desperate struggle to hold onto his job as his Conservative Party turned against him following yet another scandal. Former close allies and supporters alike have seemingly lost confidence in his leadership.

The powerful backbencher 1922 Committee, which governs the Conservative Party rules and procedures, has decided to elect a new committee on Monday that will then look at changing rules to allow another “no-confidence vote” against Johnson after 38 ministers resigned over revelations that the prime minister hired an accused sex offender to a senior role in government. 

Johnson initially denied reports that he had received a complaint that MP Chris Pincher allegedly groped two guests at a private gathering in 2019 – a man he later elevated to deputy chief whip. 

However, Lord Simon McDonald of Salford, the former head of the diplomatic services, said Johnson was made aware of the complaints, forcing Johnson to instead claim he “forgot.”  

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“Mr Johnson was briefed in person about the initiative and outcome of the investigation. There was a ‘formal complaint’,” the former head of the diplomatic service said in a letter to Katherine Stone, the parliamentary standards commissioner.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sits down with CNN's Jake Tapper for an episode of "State of the Union" on Sunday, June 26.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson sits down with CNN’s Jake Tapper for an episode of “State of the Union” on Sunday, June 26.
(CNN)

The admission prompted a slew of resignations, which in turn has pushed senior officials to demand Johnson resign as his government continues to fall apart. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid were the first to jump ship, followed by dozens of others – and more are leaving every hour. 

Sky News reported that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis planned to meet with Johnson Wednesday night, when they will ask him to resign. 

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Additionally, newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi has reportedly joined the calls for Johnson’s resignation just 24 hours after the prime minister appointed him to his new role. 

Sky News reporters standing outside 10 Downing Street have said that it appears “the noose is tightening” and “the game is up” for Johnson, who has faced an unending series of scandals over the past few months. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 17: British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak listens (C) as Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting at Downing Street on May 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Henry Nicholls-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 17: British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak listens (C) as Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting at Downing Street on May 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Henry Nicholls-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The prime minister insisted he will not call an election, telling the Liaison Committee on Wednesday that he believes an election will occur two years from now “at the earliest.” 

A defiant Johnson insisted he is having a “terrific” week and instead wants to “talk about what the government will do, not give a running commentary on political events.”

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Johnson survived a “no confidence” challenge in June after new data emerged showing that the Conservative Party would lose control of the government if a general election occurred. Johnson faced allegations of sanctioning wild parties in government offices while the country endured strict lockdowns during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Liaison Committee member Labour MP Darren Jones called the prime minister “deluded” for avoiding questions of his leadership and focusing instead on “fertilizer supplies.”  

“They looked pretty gloomy to me,” Jones told Sky News of his Conservative colleagues following the committee meeting. “I think all of them know Boris Johnson’s time is up, he needs to go, and they probably want to get on with it as quickly as possible.” 

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Conservative MP Andrew Murrison told Sky News that Boris needed to go “with dignity,” but that he fears Johnson will instead only leave after “an unseemly scrap.” 

“He will go,” Murrison said. “The question is when and in what manner, and I sincerely hope he goes in a dignified fashion, goes now, rather than drags this out, which isn’t in his interest, isn’t in the interests of the party we both serve and certainly isn’t in the interest of the country.” 

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