Boris Johnson is in trouble. The question is how much? | Breaking News Updates

Boris Johnson is in trouble. The question is how much?

| Today Headlines | Fox News

LONDON – When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned his country in a televised address on Sunday night that a tidal wave was coming, he could very well have spoken about his own political future.

Mr Johnson’s reference was to the latest variant of the coronavirus, which is sweeping through Britain and prompting him to step up a campaign to provide 18 million booster doses by New Year’s Day. But the prime minister faces a different kind of deluge: from a rebellious Conservative Party, a collapse in the polls and lingering questions about whether he or his staff flouted the lockdown rules they imposed on the government. public.

The cascade of bad news is so extreme that it has raised the question of whether Mr Johnson will even cling to power until the next election. It’s a worrying turning point for a leader who has long defied political gravity, surviving scandals and setbacks that would have brought down many other politicians.

“It’s not the end for him, but I think it’s the beginning of the end,” said Jonathan Powell, who was chief of staff to Labor prime minister Tony Blair. “The problem is, these crises have a cumulative effect. As soon as he ceases to be an asset and the party faces an election, they will get rid of him.

With no general election likely for at least two years, there is no immediate threat to Mr Johnson from voters. But if Tory lawmakers decide that Mr Johnson’s unpopularity jeopardizes their political future, they have the power to kick him out through an internal leadership vote – or a vote of no confidence. For the first time, political analysts and party members have said, such a challenge seems plausible.

Mr Powell warned that this could be a protracted drama; Mr Johnson, 57, has shown an almost supernatural ability to bounce back from adversity, and despite his party’s recent dissatisfaction, he maintains an advantage of around 80 seats in Parliament.

But this week shows the sheer number of issues that threaten it, from a tough vote in Parliament on the virus restrictions it announced, to an election in which the Conservative Party risks losing a once secure seat.

Then there is also a flurry of questions following the revelation that Mr Johnson’s staff threw a Christmas party last year at a time when the government was asking the public not to go to parties or even to return. visiting family members. Mr Johnson was pictured attending another meeting at 10 Downing Street – a Christmas quiz on Zoom, with two co-workers in party clothes by his side – around the time, which will add to the perception of a double standard for those in power.

The backlash was swift and brutal. Mr Johnson’s rating dropped to 24% approval and 59% disapproval, the lowest in his tenure, according to a poll by market research firm Opinium. The opposition Labor Party jumped 9 percentage points over the Tories, its biggest advantage since February 2014.

“What should worry the Prime Minister the most is that while the Tories’ share has fallen clearly enough, the PM’s ratings have fallen further,” said Robert Hayward, Tory member of the House of Lords and expert on surveys. “The message is pretty clear: it’s at the Prime Minister’s door.”

For Mr Johnson, the rapidly spreading Omicron variant could help him politically, giving him a new public health crisis around which to mobilize another national vaccination campaign. Britain’s rapid vaccine rollout at the start of the year has supported the government, although the pace slows down later in the summer, and Britain’s rate of fully vaccinated people is now below that of France, Italy and Portugal.

There was anecdotal evidence on Monday that Mr Johnson’s urgent call for booster shots resonated with the public: People had booked more than 110,000 appointments as of 9am Monday morning, prompting the National Health Service website collapsed under the weight of demand. Long lines have formed outside the vaccination sites, including one winding around St. Thomas Hospital, across the River from Parliament in London.

Mr Johnson’s target of injecting everyone aged 18 and over with a booster by the end of this month – a month ahead of the target he set for himself on November 30 – seems far-fetched at best. But some experts point out that even if the NHS met the target, it would not prevent an increase in infections, as the variant was already circulating widely among the population.

“It’s probably too late,” said Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College London. “The boost takes a week to work, and Omicron will have taken over from Delta in two weeks.”

While the vaccination campaign is very popular, factions in Mr Johnson’s party are strongly opposing further restrictions on viruses, such as urging people to work from home or forcing them to show vaccine certificates or a proof of a negative test to enter nightclubs or large sports arenas. When the government puts these measures to a vote in parliament on Tuesday, 60 or more Tory lawmakers are expected to vote against Mr Johnson; it is a striking number of defections, and which would place it in the delicate position of leaning on the opposition.

Conservative Party backbenchers are bubbling with frustration at what many perceive to be government incompetence and Mr Johnson’s serial duplicity. In addition to the holiday affair – which is under investigation and could lead to a finding of wrongdoing later this week – he wonders if he misled his ethics counselor when he denied knowingly using political donations to pay for the costly renovation of his Downing Street apartment.

The drumbeat of questions about Mr Johnson’s honesty has undermined his support, even in pro-Tory media. Daniel Hodges, a right-wing Mail on Sunday columnist, recently compared Mr Johnson to former President Richard M. Nixon and accused his aides of constantly lying.

“There are a number of reasons for this,” Hodges wrote. “One is obviously Boris himself. As one former minister put it: “He treats facts like he treats all of his relationships – totally disposable once awkward.”

In the normally friendly Daily Telegraph, which Mr Johnson once worked for, Allister Heath, a prominent Tory journalist, questioned whether the Prime Minister could recover. “There is an overwhelming odor of end of regime emanating from Downing Street that can no longer be ignored,” he wrote.

A first test of Mr Johnson’s resilience will take place on Thursday, when voters in North Shropshire, a district near Wales, take a vacant seat after Tory lawmaker Owen Paterson resigned over his activities lobbying. Bettors now expect the Conservatives to lose the seat to the Liberal Democrats.

It would be a demoralizing setback for Mr Johnson and his party; they are the type of working class voters who propelled Mr Johnson to power and whom he must cling to if he is to win again in the next election.

“The Conservatives are more willing to get rid of their leaders than other political parties – we do it much faster and ruthlessly,” said Hayward. “But the loss of support is attritional; it’s not about a particular event.

Local News Usa News Boris Johnson is in trouble. The question is how much?

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button