Amid calls from the ruling majority to resign, Boris Johnson is struggling to stay on as prime minister after a lukewarm mea culpa in front of the House of Commons for attending another Downing Street party in the midst of a stringent lockdown in May 2020.
Already embroiled in a series of scandals, the 57-year-old Tory leader apologized to Parliament for attending a celebration in Downing Street Garden on May 20, saying it was a “working meeting” of employees at the prime minister's office. This was followed by a statement from Dominic Cummings, a ruthless enemy, that the celebration was attended by at least two non-working government officials on Downing Street.
After all, the invitation of the director of his private office with the urging “bring your drinks” was sent at a time of great trauma for the British, when, during the first wave of the epidemic, only two people could meet outdoors, while thousands The British could not say goodbye to their own people before they died.
Opposition parties, led by the Labor Party, immediately called him a liar and demanded his resignation, while members of his government, except for Finance Minister Risi Sunak, rushed to express their full support for him. Twitter and media statements.
However, this support is not transferred to the back seats of Parliament, where dissatisfaction has gripped the MPs of the governing majority who had invested in his ability to attract the people of the north of England, once loyal to the Labor Party, through his promise to fulfill Brexit .
The lukewarm support expressed by Risi Sunak, who is considered a potential candidate for the Tory leadership, is widely commented on today.
Far from Westminster, on a visit to Devon in the south-west of England, at a time when the prime minister was facing the wrath of MPs, it took Risi Sunak eight hours to express his lukewarm support to Boris Johnson's face with a tweet emphasizing concerns its own commitment to improving the employment sector in the United Kingdom.
“The prime minister did well to apologize and I urge him to be patient, awaiting the outcome of an internal investigation by senior public official Sue Gray,” Risi Sunak wrote.
Some in British political circles have likened this statement of lukewarm support to John Major's decision not to side with his successor, Margaret Thatcher , in the Tory leadership race when she found herself with her back to the wall in 1990.
The results of the internal investigation, which is expected to be announced next week, unless the police finally take over the entire file, are now considered decisive for the fate of Boris Johnson.
In addition to the backlash against the Conservative majority, the party's unity is threatened by the resentment of the Tories in Scotland.
Like Roger Gale, for whom Boris Johnson is now a “zombie”, some lawmakers are openly in favor of launching a Conservative Party motion against the prime minister, who will push him out.
“The post of prime minister is' unsustainable 'and I think we should let the conclusions of a public official determine the future of the prime minister,” said MP William Rag, vice-chairman of the powerful 1922 committee responsible for the Tories' parliamentary presence. “It is the responsibility of the Conservative Party, if not the prime minister himself, to make that decision,” he told the BBC.
The “Garden Day” is the latest in a string of parties in British government, where strict lockdown rules have severely curtailed the lives of ordinary Britons and added to a series of allegations of financial scandal, abuse of power and favoritism.
Boris Johnson came to power triumphantly in July 2019. Since then, his popularity has plummeted in opinion polls. The latest YouGov poll for the Times, conducted before yesterday's mea culpa, gives the Labor Party a 10 percentage point lead, securing 38% of the vote, compared to 28% for the Conservative Party, for the first time in a decade .
Today, Boris Johnson hid from the cameras and the questions of the journalists: citing contact “with a case in his family”, he canceled a visit to a vaccination center.