UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, vowed on July 6, 2022, before Ministers to keep going amid growing pressure calling for his resignation.
Mr. Johnson’s premiership is in increasing peril, with a group of cabinet ministers calling on him to tow a resignation line. Chief Whip, Chris Heaton-Harris and Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, are among those gathering in No.10 to call on him to go.
An undisclosed source told the media that Tory Backbench Chief, Sir Graham Brady, is going in to see the Prime Minister, “to offer wise counsel”. But the Prime Minister told Members of Parliament that it would not be “responsible” for him to go. Speaking at the Commons Liaison Committee, he said it would not be right for him to “walk away” amid economic pressures, and also in the midst of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Under repeated questioning by the committee, he ruled out calling a snap general election, saying the earliest date he can see for another one is 2024.
Calls by Other Leaders
According to a report circulating, Welsh Secretary, Simon Hart, is also among the group preparing to tell Mr. Johnson to stand down. Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, in an earlier comment, suggested the Prime Minister to go, and Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, told the Chief Whip that the PM should resign.
But Political writer and editor, Chris Mason, said the Ministers gathering in Downing Street to call on the PM to quit have been joined by another group opposing the resignation, instead, calling for Mr. Johnson to stay. Some circulation in the media space indicated that Mr Johnson has been stressing that “millions” voted for him and questioning whether any of his would-be successors would be able to “replicate his electoral success at the next election”.
Possibility of Another Election this Year
Meanwhile, Tory party bosses on the executive of the Backbench 1922 Committee, postponed a decision on whether to change the rules governing a vote of confidence, but elections to replace the committee will take place next week. Mr. Johnson survived such a vote last month (June 2022), and under the rules, as they currently stand, he would be immune from another challenge after year (2023).
The crisis engulfing Mr. Johnson’s premiership began on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, following the dramatic resignations of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary, Sajid Javid. They both quit within minutes of each other following a row over Mr. Johnson’s decision to appoint Chris Pincher, as Deputy Chief Whip earlier this year (2022).
Their departures triggered a wave of further resignations, with a senior ally of the Prime Minister telling the media that “It’s now a question of how he exits”, adding that the situation is “not sustainable”.
At the Prime Minister’s Questions sessions, Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said the Conservatives become a “corrupted party defending the indefensible”. He aimed at Ministers who resigned in recent days, saying their decision not to quit before now showed they lacked a “shred of integrity”, rounding on those who stayed in post by mocking them as a “Z list cast of nodding dogs”, keeping the Prime Minister in power.
He added that they are “only in office because no-one else is prepared to debase themselves any longer”, calling them the “charge of the lightweight brigade”.
Could Boris Johnson go?
Boris Johnson is likely to go if the party bosses change the one-year rule on leadership challenges, then it will give rebel Tory Members of Parliament the grounds to try again in an attempt to oust him later this summer, or in the autumn.
If Mr. Johnson should lose a vote of no confidence in Parliament, then he would have to resign or call an election. Otherwise, he would have to resign himself, possibly in the face of pressure from cabinet, like the case of former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, or after a fresh wave of ministerial resignations.