In London, Boris Johnson is “absolutely determined” to stay in office and is convinced a resignation would mean handing the country over to Labor and the Scottish National Party, which are pressing for a new referendum. The resignations of 41 ministers and other officials in less than 24 hours were futile, and no effect came from pressure from his closest aides, who arrived in Downing Street last night to persuade him to leave the party and government leadership.
Johnson, Pincher scandal overshadows government: Finance minister also resigns
If the surviving ministers Doris, Reese Moog, Patel and Raab consider themselves friends with Boris Johnson, they should frankly tell him to leave immediately. His reputation would be much worse than that of Chris Pincher if he was still in place by dawn. https://t.co/KYn7er6iuk
– Tom Gallagher (@Cultfree54) 6 July 2022
They have been guided by his loyal ally since the days of the pro-Brexit campaign, Michael Gove, who was fired by Johnson himself at the end of a day full of twists and turns. Meanwhile, all the dossiers on the government’s table, Brexit in the first place, have to wait: What will happen to the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland protocol that Parliament was on the verge of partly scrapping with a law introduced last June in the House of Commons? Or measures against inflation and the economic crisis? For the Conservatives, the problems are now different because if the Rebels don’t seem willing to stop, the same goes for Johnson. “I am in the trenches with him but we are without weapons, we are surrounded and without ammunition,” a loyal supporter of the prime minister – who has remained anonymous – told Sky News yesterday. And so it went.
As Pogo defended himself fiercely in the palaces of power – first at the time of the Westminster Question and then before deputies of the Liaison Committee – defections increased. But he, with skeptical eyes and skin sometimes red from the pressure of pressing questions, remained attached at the same pace he had been repeating incessantly for months: staying in office, moving forward and carrying on with the program. As he fought his battle, in Downing Street, his most loyal allies, including Michael Gove and Priti Patel, gathered to wait for him and persuade him to do the opposite, and surrender.
He intervened at the last minute following the 1922 commission’s decision not to change the bylaw which required a 100-year wait of 12 months between a vote of confidence and another. In order to get rid of Johnson, the rebels seemed ready to do so until next Monday, marking the renewal of the members of the 1922 Committee, they could still succeed in doing so.
Twenty-four hours of fire started with the attack of Sajid Javid, who submitted his resignation Tuesday night. “At some point we have to conclude that when it is too much it is too much,” he said yesterday in the House of Commons.
The former health minister had started a real domino, followed by Treasurer Rishi Sunak and 37 ministers, undersecretaries and senior officials, who decided to leave the government to question the integrity of the conservative leader. Virginia Crosby specified that “the number of charges of unlawful and inappropriate conduct, nearly all of which occurred in Downing Street while he was Prime Minister, make his position inadmissible.” “Integrity, decency, respect and professionalism must be taken into account,” Victoria Atkins wrote, while Stuart Andrew, in his resignation letter, wanted to stress that “trust, truth and integrity” are vital in politics and conservatives should not “defend the indefensible”. A real tsunami with a very clear message: The future of the party no longer belongs to Pogo.
The final straw was the appointment of Chris Pincher as deputy leader of the group, although Johnson later admitted that he was aware of earlier allegations of sexual harassment against him. And since Partigate, scandals and lies have dented his popularity to the point of turning him, for many of his party colleagues, into a heavyweight. For the rebels, the winning candidate can no longer guarantee a Conservative victory like the 2019 policies record. However, the spirit is more combative than ever: “If I had to die — he told his people last night — I would. I strive.”