Defiant Boris Johnson vows to ‘carry on’ as resignations pile up – Reuters


LONDON — A defiant Boris Johnson has insisted now is not the time to quit as Britain’s prime minister, even as resignations from his government continued to mount and Tory MPs pushed through a plan to dismiss him.

Speaking in the House of Commons to stone-faced Tory MPs on Wednesday, Johnson – hit on Tuesday night by the exit of two senior Cabinet ministers and further lower-level resignations since – claimed it’s « exactly when times are tough » that his government should press on.

« A prime minister’s job in difficult circumstances, when given a colossal mandate, is to carry on and that’s what I’m going to do, » Johnson said when asked by his own MPs what made him exactly push to leave.

Opposition Leader Keir Starmer repeatedly mocked Johnson during the Prime Minister’s fiery questioning session and described the British leader’s answers as the « dying acts of his political career ».

In a withering statement in the Commons following PMQs, Sajid Javid – whose resignation as Health Secretary on Tuesday sparked the wave of outings – slammed the Prime Minister for sending colleagues to defend the indefensible on TV . « At some point we have to conclude that enough is enough, » he told MPs. “I believe that point is now. The reset button can only work a certain number of times.

A series of revelations, first about anti-coronavirus parties attended by figures at the peak of British politics, including Johnson himself, and later about the government’s mishandling of successive allegations of abusive behavior by Tory MPs , have shaken the grip of the Prime Minister. on power.

Wednesday in the middle of the afternoon, he had been hit by more than 25 resignations in less than 24 hours. Environment Minister Jo Churchill resigns just as Johnson was rising in the House of Commonswhile five ministers, including Neil O’Brien and Kemi Badenoch, key figures in his domestic policy agenda, resigned with a single damning letter.

As Johnson insists he will keep fighting and has decided to replace the key chancellor and health secretary posts vacated by Rishi Sunak and Javid respectively, he faces a renewed threat from its own deputies.

Johnson cannot currently be challenged by his own MPs for a year as he won a confidence vote last month, but that could change if the 1922 committee of backbench Tory lawmakers, meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday night , UK time, opts to change party rules.

The anti-Johnson rebels had planned to get elected to the powerful group’s committee to change the rules and issue another challenge to Johnson. But, in a sign of Johnson’s undermined authority, the current executive is now expected to discuss doing so even without personnel changes.

Johnson’s spokesman told reporters on Wednesday the Prime Minister remained confident he had the support of his own MPs – and believed he would win another vote of confidence.


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