Hi, this is Hot Mike, and I’m Nidhi Rajdan
Just over two years ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the Conservative Party to its biggest electoral victory in decades in the United Kingdom. But today he is facing increasing calls for his resignation. How much trouble did Boris Johnson actually have? Well, for months now, the UK has been embroiled in the Partigate scandal, where the Prime Minister and his office have been directly implicated in holding or participating in illegal parties during the coveted lockdown imposed on the country.
Now, Boris Johnson has defended some of these as a work rally with repeated statements in the House of Commons. The scandal is a huge embarrassment for Johnson’s Conservative party, which has also suffered electoral shocks in recent local elections. So far, Bojo, as he has been told, has managed to survive the crisis without shame. But now his own party is urging him to resign. On Monday, Tory became the 26th youngest Conservative MP to publicly call for the resignation of Boris Johnson in the Partigate scandal.
In an attempt to remove a leader of the Conservative MPs, 15% of them would have to write a no-confidence motion to the chairman of the party’s 1922 committee. So 15% of the current Tory MPs are actually 54 MPs. Now that number doesn’t seem to have reached the moment. And even if 54 letters are sent and a vote of confidence is taken and another 126 Tory MPs have to join them to bid farewell to the Prime Minister.
Thus, it would bring the total number of conservative MPs needed to bring Boris out of office to 180, which is half of their full strength. So the big question now for Tory MPs is whether Boris Johnson is an asset or a liability. The BBC reports that a growing number of Tory MPs believe that the upcoming and support numbers facing a confidence vote for Johnson are now moving forward.
And incidentally, if he survives one vote, there can be no other vote against him for at least the next 12 months. So what was Partigate and what was the report accusing Johnson? Well, the story was first published in the British press in November 2021, and a video of Downing Street staff making fun of a party was leaked and then a huge queue began. A senior civilian named Sui Gray was assigned to investigate the Downing Street teams. He has investigated 16 incidents and police have also investigated and found several violations of the Covid rules during the epidemic.
The 16 incidents occurred on more than a dozen dates between May 2020 and April 2021, when the Kovid ban was in effect in the country. The incident was investigated by 12 metropolitan police, who fined 83 people, including the prime minister, 126 times. Mr Johnson, his wife, Carrie Johnson, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were fined for attending the Prime Minister’s birthday party in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020. Mrs. Gray also investigated a Bring Your Own Buzz party at Downing Street Garden, attended by the Prime Minister on May 20, 2020. His report criticizes culture and leadership on Downing Street. It includes photographs of the congregation and the names of those who attended, or at least some of them. His report contains nine photographs inside Downing Street, and several of them show Johnson drinking with staff.
In his conclusion, Gray said, “Government leaders were present at the events I investigated. Many of these incidents should not have been allowed to happen. Central leadership, both political and official, must bear the brunt of this culture,” he said on Downing Street. The people have a right to expect the highest standards of conduct, and obviously less than what happened, Ms. Gray named a number of senior officials and ministers in her final report, including the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
In recent days, however, fresh pictures have surfaced of Boris Johnson raising a glass at a number ten party during a national coveted lockdown in November 2020. It shows him toasting a senior assistant at a drinks event on Downing Street. At the time, indoor social mixing was completely banned due to an increase in covid cases. And more than two people were not allowed to meet outside.
According to a Downing Street official who declined to be named on the BBC’s Panorama program, the party on November 13 was said to be so narrow that people literally stood shoulder to shoulder and sat on each other’s laps. This has now led to new allegations that Boris Johnson lied to the British Parliament, as he was asked if there was a party on Downing Street at the time. His answer was “No, but I’m sure no matter what happened, the guidelines were followed and the rules were always followed.” The next few weeks will be crucial for Boris Johnson. He is already behind the economy and the cost of living that has engulfed Britain. Will he be forced to resign or will he fight for another day?