London, Wednesday, 6 July 2022
Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, said he will "hold on" to his job amid increased pressure from the opposition and Conservative backbenchers who want him to step down on Wednesday.
Despite the most recent wave of resignations, which included two senior ministers, Johnson assured the members of the House of Commons that he would carry out his party's platform as the head of government.
The ministers' resignations were compared to "the charge of the lightweight brigade" by Labour leader Keir Starmer. Johnson's new front bench team, according to Starmer, is "a Z-list cast of nodding dogs," and the Tories who are leaving now "have no integrity."
(Picture by: Wikipedia)
Ian Blackford, the head of the Scottish National Party in Westminster, also urged Johnson to step down, saying that while Johnson had previously been compared to Monty Python's Black Knight, in reality "he is more like the dead parrot."
Blackford was making reference to two well-known sketches produced by a well-known British comedy group in the 1970s. Johnson declared, "I'm going to keep going because that's the role of a prime minister in trying times when he's been given a massive mandate.
Tim Loughton, a Tory backbencher, had questioned if Johnson could quit under any circumstances, to which he was responding. The reset button can only be used so many times, ex-Health Secretary Sajid Javid stated in his House of Commons resignation speech.
You can only switch that equipment on and off so many times before you realise there is a serious problem, he added. "The top is where the problem starts, and that won't change."
Johnson's leadership, according to Javid, will harm the Conservative Party's standing in the long run. Following the prime minister's question period, housing Minister Stuart Andrew announced his resignation, making him the newest member of the administration to do so.
When that time comes, he continued, "you have to look at your own personal integrity," and that moment is now. Additionally, 27 MPs expressed their lack of confidence in Johnson's leadership.
According to party rules, a new challenge to Johnson's leadership cannot be launched for a year after he survived a vote of confidence a month ago. However, it has been stated that the 1922 Committee of the party will look into amending the rules to start a new vote on Johnson's position as leader.
The issue surrounding Chris Pincher, a government MP who resigned as the deputy chief whip last week following allegations of an incident that occurred at a private members' club, served as the backdrop to the two high-profile resignations.
Although Downing Street first claimed Johnson was unaware of prior specific charges against Pincher, it eventually became clear that Johnson had in fact been made aware of prior instances of alleged wrongdoing on the part of Pincher when serving as the foreign minister in 2019.
Johnson expressed regret for designating Pincher as the deputy chief whip just prior to the resignations on Tuesday. "I believe I made a mistake, and I'm sorry. In retrospect, it was the incorrect action to do, he claimed.
"I sincerely apologise to everyone who was negatively impacted by it. I want to be crystal clear that anyone who is predatory or abuses their position of power has no place in this government.
He said, "If I could go back in time, I would regret it because he wasn't going to change and he wasn't going to learn a lesson."
(Reporting by: The Decision Maker – International Relations editors)