As of: 01/29/2022 4:10 p.m
British Prime Minister Johnson is coming under further pressure in the “Partygate” affair – including within his own party. A possible successor is in position. Much depends on the much-anticipated investigative report.
In the wake of the “Partygate” scandal surrounding British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a power struggle is emerging within the Conservative Party. Johnson critic and influential Tory MP Tom Tugendhat announced that he would run for Johnson’s successor. He told Times Radio that being prime minister is a “huge privilege.” “You don’t have to be embarrassed to serve your country.”
According to reports in the Daily Mail newspaper, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament can count on the support of several Tory MPs from the center of the party.
Vote of no confidence imminent?
Johnson has been under heavy pressure for weeks over the Downing Street party scandal during lockdown. So far, however, he has dismissed almost all questions with reference to the ongoing investigations and denied any knowledge of lockdown violations.
However, if the allegations are confirmed, a vote of no confidence in Johnson, for which at least 54 Tory MPs would have to position themselves against him in writing, is likely. Foreign Minister Liz Truss and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak have been the favorites for a successor. So far, both have publicly denied any ambitions.
Examination report eagerly awaited
Much may depend on the much-anticipated internal investigative report into the lockdown parties scandal. The handover of the report from top official Sue Gray to Johnson is imminent, as several media reports. However, the official presentation in the London House of Commons is not expected before the beginning of the week.
In all likelihood, the report will initially only be published in a heavily censored version. This is related to investigations by the London police. In a statement, the agency asked that “minimum reference be made in the Cabinet Office report to the events being investigated by the Metropolitan Police”. This is intended to prevent “any bias” in the investigation.
Opposition urges full report
The opposition insists on full publication. Legal experts were also amazed at the police request for censorship. The internal investigator Gray describes only facts and demands no personal consequences.
That should be welcome news for Johnson. The police investigation could later only be about whether those involved have to pay fines. This would probably have significantly weakened the explosive force of both investigations. A revolt in his faction would also be less likely.
New allegations against Johnson
According to a report in the newspaper “Daily Telegraph”, the pressure on the prime minister could increase further. According to this, his wife Carrie Johnson pushed for a birthday song and a cake for the prime minister in June 2020 in messages with an official.
Private gatherings were forbidden at the time due to strict corona rules. People across the country canceled their parties because of this. Government employees and Johnson are said to have disregarded their own rules with celebrations during the pandemic.