LONDON – Support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson waned sharply on Wednesday, a day after suffering two fragmented deviations from his cabinet. The resignation continues to come and a team of cabinet ministers, including Nadeem Zahui, who was made Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday, is ready to tell the Prime Minister that he should resign, the BBC reported.
Throughout the day, more than two dozen junior ministers and associates have resigned, led by state Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who resigned on Tuesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Johnson received a hellish reception in Parliament. Mr Johnson vowed to fight back, trying to divert attention from new government tax cuts that he said would help millions of struggling British. But in the back room across Westminster, lawmakers were meeting to find a way to force Mr. Johnson out, probably within days.
In Parliament, Labor leader Carey Starmer brought a heinous allegation of Mr Johnson’s role in the latest scandal, involving allegations of sexual misconduct and excessive drinking by a conservative lawmaker.
Johnson promoted lawmaker Chris Pincher after earlier allegations of misconduct. Ministers were sent to deny what the Prime Minister knew about the allegations, but those claims were quickly exposed, a serious familiar experience that some have mentioned when resigning.
“Anyone who resigns now, after defending it all, has not received a share of the honesty,” Mr Starmer said, pointing a finger at Mr Johnson. “Isn’t this the first recorded case of a rat in a sunken ship escaping?”
Mr Johnson, embarrassed, again apologized for supporting Mr Pincher, but insisted he was delivering on behalf of the British people as Prime Minister. “The job of a prime minister in difficult situations is to carry on when he is given a huge mandate,” he declared.
The situation was seen to be getting worse for Johnson on Wednesday afternoon, as the BBC reported that Michael Gove, an influential member of the cabinet, had told the prime minister that it was time to leave. Mr. Gove, the housing secretary, has long been seen as a major power broker for the Conservative Party and was markedly absent from the front benches of parliament during the tumultuous exchange at the start of the day.
Complaints in Parliament the day before have captured Johnson’s fortunes. Several Conservatives called for his resignation, including Gary Sambrook, a Birmingham lawmaker who is a ranking official in an influential committee of conservative backbenchers who control future no-confidence votes.
Mr. Sunak and Mr. Javid resigned after Mr. Johnson apologized for the latest scandal that engulfed his government. A number of other officials have since followed, including Will Queens, the minister for children and families, who strongly defended Mr Johnson’s role in the scandal earlier this week.
The departures exposed a movement within his party against Johnson that had been building against him for months, sparked by a stream of embarrassing reports from social gatherings on Downing Street that violated the government’s own coronavirus lockdown rules.
Mr Johnson moved quickly to announce the replacements of Mr Sunak and Mr Javid, indicating that he planned to try to stabilize the government and fight for his job. And he did his best to portray a defensive image: according to the Times of London, when a friend asked him on Tuesday evening if he planned to resign, he replied with the title “F-That.”
Yet, as all, the Prime Minister was in more political danger than at any other time in his tumultuous three-year tenure on Downing Street.
A freewheel journalist and politician, Mr. Johnson survived multiple investigations, police criminal fines and a no-confidence vote among his Conservative Party lawmakers last month – all related to parties held on Downing Street during the coronavirus lockdown.
But Mr Pincher’s recent outcry over Mr Johnson’s promotion was to tip Mr Sunak and Mr Javid and set the stage for the latest round of crime.
Last week, Mr Pincher resigned as the party’s deputy chief whip after admitting to being drunk at a private members’ club in London, where he allegedly pushed two people. On Tuesday, Downing Street acknowledged that Mr Johnson had been told about previous allegations against Mr Pincher in 2019 – which Mr Johnson’s office initially denied.
Mr Starmer, the Labor leader, may face his own reckoning on Wednesday: Police in Durham, England, are about to release their results of an investigation into whether a beer-and-Indian part violated the law – a dinner dinner with other party officials during the epidemic lockdown. Mr Starmer has vowed to resign if police fine him.