Members of his Cabinet and party deputies tried this Wednesday night to convince him of the futility of entrenching
Conservative ministers finally lost confidence in Boris Johnson and called for the resignation of the head of the United Kingdom Government, who was still resisting on Wednesday night in his official Downing Street residence. Sajid Javid, who resigned the day before to continue as head of the Ministry of Health, issued the “enough is enough” signal in a devastating speech in Parliament in Westminster. The majority of conservative parliamentarians supported the revolt, which gave way to various maneuvers to overthrow their leader and chief executive.
Johnson lost support minute by minute since Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid delivered the Economy and Health portfolios the previous day, respectively. Twenty-four hours later, about 40 resignations from government posts are recorded, with at least three ministries without staff at the level of the Secretary of State. At the same time, a majority of deputies finally withdrew confidence in the ‘premier’ after nearly a week of lies and misinformation about Johnson’s relationship with his political ally and alleged sexual predator, Chris Pincher.
Even so, Downing Street sources indicated to the British media on Wednesday night that Johnson is not willing to give up and “wants to continue fighting.” And in a surprising change of direction, revealed by the BBC, the prime minister fired Michael Gove from the cabinet, responsible until now for the regional economic leveling strategy, among other ministerial portfolios, and his lieutenant in the Brexit referendum campaign, from 2016.
Earlier, a delegation of cabinet members descended on Downing Street in a coordinated effort to persuade the president to jump ship. The scene brought to mind the last hours of Margaret Thatcher at the head of the Government, almost 32 years ago. The ‘Iron Lady’ ‘decided to confront the ministers one by one, convinced that she would thus ensure her support in the battle against her leadership, but the strategy backfired. The prime minister who gave three electoral victories to the Conservative Party, between 1979 and 1987, left the famous London residence in tears on November 28, 1990.
This Wednesday, ‘The Telegraph’, the newspaper where Johnson worked before entering the Government, reproduced an old edition of the tabloid ‘Daily Express’ in tribute to the Thatcher decade. “What have you done?” questions the cover of the historic issue, which was shared by the Prime Minister’s supporters, according to the conservative daily’s political correspondent, Ben Riley-Smith. The Tory president apparently adopted the strategy of his predecessor and attended to his ministers individually, fighting until the last moment with the ministerial team that went to Downing Street demanding his resignation.
But Johnson resisted at the last minute in his position. “I will continue with my work. I have a responsibility to comply with the 2019 manifesto, even if there are many people who want to try to bring me down, “he defiantly told the House of Commons mixed committee, which questioned him for two hours in a session that usually marks the end of each semester. parliamentary. He also rejected proposals for resignations that were thrown at him in the prime minister’s question session, which is held every Wednesday. “With the economic pressure that the country is suffering, with Europe at war, this is not the time to retire, but to continue working,” he reiterated.
The chairman of the committee, Conservative Bernard Jenkin, extracted from the prime minister the apparent promise that he would dissolve parliament and call early elections if the parliamentary group withdrew its support. “It’s not going to happen unless people ignore the principle that history teaches us that respecting the electoral mandate is the best way to maintain political stability,” he said. In the same session he refused to answer the question that keeps the crisis in suspense: will Johnson resign if he loses the trust of his deputies?
The prime minister faces a defining moment in his three years as Conservative leader and head of the British government. He won a motion of no confidence last month, with 59% of the vote, and is in principle safe from a similar action until June 2023. But the influential parliamentary group is preparing to change the internal rules in the coming hours or weeks and intends to force a second vote of confidence before the summer holidays, which begin on July 21. You need the support of 52 Tory deputies to launch the motion of censure and that mark is already exceeded.
The prime minister faces the storm by recalling the “colossal mandate” that the electorate gave him in 2019 and in the morning he ironically noted that he has a large “supply of qualified personnel willing” to replace the squad of positions that have left the Government . Labor leader Keir Starmer compared the situation to a “sunken ship escaping from the rats”.
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