Boris Johnson clings to power as his support dwindles from an increasingly isolated UK prime minister who has been badly hurt by the resignation of a number of senior colleagues who say he is not fit to run the country.
Mr Johnson’s finance and health ministers resigned on Tuesday after the latest scandal hit the government, leading to the departure of about 15 lower-ranking politicians and the withdrawal of support from once-loyal politicians.
With the wave of resignations rising, some wondered if the prime minister would be able to fill the vacancies.
Johnson attempted to regain power by quickly appointing Nadhim Zahavi as finance minister.
But when former education minister Mr Zahavi toured broadcast studios on Wednesday morning to lay out the government’s priorities, he was faced with news of more resignations.
Solicitor General Alex Chalk, the government’s second-in-command legal adviser, said the cumulative effect of the series of scandals has left the public no longer believing the government can maintain expected standards of candor.
“I regret that I share this judgment,” he said.
Nadhim Zahavi has been appointed UK Chancellor of the Exchequer after Rishi Sunak stepped down. Source: AARP, Press Association / Dominic Lipinski
Mr Johnson, former journalist and mayor of London who became the face of the UK’s exit from the European Union, before taking a combative and often chaotic approach to control.
His leadership has been mired in scandals and errors over the past few months, and the prime minister has been fined by the police for and a damning report published about the behavior of officials in his Downing Street office who violated their own lockdown rules.
There were also political reversals, an ill-fated defense of a politician who broke lobbying rules, and criticism that he did not do enough to overcome a cost-of-living crisis when many Britons struggled to cope with rising fuel and food supplies. Prices.
The Times of London said Mr Johnson’s “serial dishonesty” was “extremely damaging” to effective government.
“Every day he stays adds to the feeling of chaos,” the post reads. “For the good of the country, he must go.”
The latest bout of drama at the heart of British power comes amid a rapidly deteriorating economy, with some economists warning that the country could plunge into recession.
In the latest scandal, Mr. Johnson apologized for appointing a politician to a role related to party welfare and discipline, even after being told that the politician had been the target of sexual harassment complaints.
The Downing Street narrative changed several times depending on what the Prime Minister knew about the past behavior of the politician who was forced to resign and when he knew it. His spokesman accused Johnson of a memory lapse.
This prompted Rishi Sunak to step down as Chancellor of the Exchequer – Finance Minister – and Sajid Javid to step down as Health Minister, while others left their positions as junior ministers or envoys.
“It is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership and therefore you have also lost my trust,” Javid said in his resignation letter.
Several ministers cited Mr Johnson’s lack of judgment, standards and inability to tell the truth.
A snap poll by YouGov showed that 69% of Britons think Johnson should step down as prime minister, but for now the rest of his ministerial team has offered their support.
“I fully support the Prime Minister,” Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack said. “I’m sorry that good colleagues are retiring, but we have a lot of work to do.”
A month ago, and party rules mean he cannot face another such challenge within a year.
However, some politicians are seeking to change those rules while he is also under investigation by a parliamentary committee over whether he lied to parliament about quarantine violations due to COVID-19.
The nomination process for the head of the so-called 1922 committee, which sets the rules for a vote of confidence in the leadership, is expected to open on Wednesday. Mr. Johnson’s critics hope to elect enough people to change the rules and allow another such vote before the 12-month grace period allows.
If Mr. Johnson leaves, the process of replacing him could take a couple of months.
Just two and a half years ago, an energetic Johnson won a huge parliamentary majority by vowing to deal with Britain’s exit from the European Union after years of bitter debate.
But since then, its initial response to the pandemic has been widely criticized, and the government has tossed from one predicament to another.
While Mr. Johnson has gained wider recognition for his support of Ukraine, his rise in personal poll ratings has been short-lived. His Conservatives are trailing the opposition Labor Party and his own popularity ratings are at an all-time low.
Mr. Johnson’s bellicose approach to the European Union has also put pressure on the pound, exacerbating inflation, which is forecast to top 11 percent.
“After all this nonsense, scandals and failures, it became clear that this government is now collapsing,” said Labor leader Keir Starmer.