Despite his apologies, is Boris Johnson “finished”?

The discontent within the parliamentary majority and the British public opinion is growing, in the aftermath of the regrets expressed by the Prime Minister over the holding of a afterwork in the Downing Street garden in full containment. His political future hangs by a thread, warns this weekly close to the conservative leader.

“The Prime Minister has not accustomed us to acts of contrition. He was always convinced that the best way to handle a scandal was to say nothing and hope that another topic would follow up. ” An untenable strategy this time around, in the face of the wave of indignation aroused by the “partygate”, notes The Spectator. In the House of Commons, Wednesday January 12, Boris Johnson chose to apologize to the British. Yes, as revealed on Monday by the TV channel ITV, a festive gathering of around thirty employees was well held on May 20, 2020 in the gardens of 10 Downing Street, in the middle of “confinement strict”. Yes, the tenant of the premises “Went there twenty-five minutes, implicitly thinking that it was a work event ”.

Sitting behind the head of government, “The deputies of the majority were silent, very happy for once to be able to hide behind their mask”, quips the weekly. In short: the leader’s justification has not convinced many people.

These deputies fear popular wrath. The Prime Minister’s popularity rating, which was his strong point until now, is now in free fall and almost as low as that of Theresa May at the end of her mandate. When prime ministers get unpopular, they rarely go up the hill.”

Wait for the results of an independent investigation

Even his ministers “The most loyal” are struggling to envisage a rapid exit from the crisis. “For them, their leader can do nothing but wait for the results of the independent investigation to establish to what extent the parties organized in Downing Street in 2020, including that of May 20, violated the rules of the confinement.”

The conclusions of Sue Gray, the senior official responsible for writing the final report, are expected by the end of the month. “If it establishes that the Prime Minister has broken the rules, it is difficult to see how he could stay in his post, believes the conservative magazine. Will she go that far? Precedents suggest that civil servants rightly dislike giving the impression that they are pushing a sitting prime minister out. This factor could save him. ”

A winning machine on the verge of breakdown?

Another factor, in the event of total or partial exemption in the “partygate”, lies in its ability to win the elections, from London City Hall in 2008 and 2012 to the legislative elections of 2019, including Brexit in 2016. Enough encourage conservative parliamentarians to procrastinate before triggering a possible vote of no confidence. “The situation will perhaps change after the local elections, next May, temper The Spectator. If the results are poor, Tory MPs could conclude that Johnson is no longer able to rally votes. ” Especially since his troops have “Less need of him than at the start of his mandate”, when Brexit had to be completed and “Blocking Jeremy Corbyn”. Two objectives already achieved.
At the question “Is the end near?”, asked in one of its edition dated January 15, the weekly run by Boris Johnson in the early 2000s would almost be tempted to answer in the affirmative. “But throughout his political career, Johnson has consistently given the wrong odds. He has been beaten, despised, mocked. But even when he seemed cornered, he still managed to bounce back. ” One of the reasons, moreover, of his election at the head of the Torys. “Because he had this ability to achieve the impossible.”

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