Insurgent conservatives failed to deliver a knockout blow to the prime minister

Insurgent conservatives failed to deliver a knockout blow to the prime minister

Boris Johnson’s political career may have ended there. Less than an hour after a Conservative MP defected to Labor and while rebel Tories were circling, party giant David Davis seriously told the prime minister, “In the name of God, go.”

Amid feverish speculation in Westminster that Johnson was facing an inevitable leadership challenge, Davis ’intervention threatened to be a catalyst. But during that hour, something seemed to change.

To many Conservative MPs, Johnson looked like a broken man on Tuesday when he gave an apologetic interview about his resolution of the Downing Street party scandal during quarantine. “It felt like the end,” said a former government minister.

But on Wednesday, during a noisy session of prime ministerial issues at the House of Commons, Johnson went out to fight, encouraged by the Tories, encouraged by their aversion to seeing one of them – Bury South MP Christian Wakeford – defect to Labor.

Johnson’s decision to keep his job – promising to return the Wakeford constituency in Lancashire in the next election – seemed to change the dynamics in the Commons. “Wakeford’s defection has calmed things down a bit,” one critic of the prime minister admitted.

Even Davis ’attack on Johnson, echoing the words of conservative Leo Amery of 1940 in his demand for the resignation of Neville Chamberlain, did not deal a knockout blow.

Secretary of Culture Nadine Dorries once said that Davis – a former reservist in the SAS Special Forces – was “trained to take people out”, but one Johnson loyalist dismissed his attack on Wednesday, saying: “David’s intervention was more about him than the prime minister.”

The Prime Minister left the Commons Chamber shouting “more Tories.” For the first time, Johnson MPs seemed ready to comply with pleas from conservative parliamentary business managers to come to the aid of their embittered leader. A collective Tory sense of self-preservation emerged.

But for Johnson, this could only prove to be a temporary delay. Further discoveries of Fr. a “bring your drink” garden party on Downing Street which Johnson attended in May 2020, during the first closure in England, could once again sharply turn the mood of the Tories against him.

The atmosphere in Westminster is such that Tory MPs believe that Johnson was doomed at one point and saved the next. “It was like a rollercoaster,” said one conservative adviser. “We’re still on it.”

Johnson is still in serious political danger. One senior Tory MP estimated that 25 colleagues had written letters demanding a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Conservative Conservative Committee. Another of Johnson’s missteps – or additional damaging revelations about the scandal between the parties – could lead to the 54 letters needed to launch such a vote.

But on Wednesday afternoon, a so-called pork pie conspiracy to overthrow Johnson by Tory lawmakers who first entered parliament in the 2019 election – named after Melton Mowbray’s Alicia Kearns constituency, whose offices met to discuss the prime minister’s future She seemed to be hesitant.

The plot attracted widespread international attention, French media talked about “le complot de la tourte de porc”, and German newspapers reported on “Pork pie coup” who threatened to overthrow the Brexit architect.

One minister said that the group of rebels from 2019 was “inexperienced” and that their revolt would not be in vain, and the Tory MP added: “They are naive, to be honest.”

Johnson’s loyalists considered some of the conspirators to be supporters of Liz Truss, an ambitious foreign minister who is currently in Australia. But Truss’s team insisted it was “making a fuss,” and one ally said, “Liz supports the prime minister.”

Tory business managers said Johnson’s conflict with Wakeford and David Davis at the Commons helped solidify him. “People are very hacked with Wakeford and DD,” said one government insider. “It helped bring people closer.”

Although Johnson’s appearance in the Commons Chamber may have calmed his party at this point, it is clear how dangerous it is.

Of the seven Tory MPs who have so far publicly called on Johnson to resign, only one of the more than 100 conservatives from 2019 is “newly registered”.

He points out that despair over Johnson’s leadership includes longtime Tory envoys. Davis and Sir Roger Gale, two of those who want Johnson to resign, were elected in the 1980s. Others, including former Minister Caroline Nokes, entered parliament when David Cameron was prime minister.

Johnson’s critique also encompasses ideological divisions among conservatives. “The split in the party is no longer about Brexit – it is about whether you are for or against Boris,” said one Tory MP. The debate is whether Johnson has the character and judgment to remain prime minister.

Many MPs hold their advice until they see it report by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, to government parties held during restrictions on coronaviruses.

Gray’s report is expected to be released next week, and more Tories are expected to speak out against Johnson. One minister said: “I’m done with him. Will I now take active action on this issue? No. Will there come a time when I do that? Yes. ”

A former cabinet minister who supported Johnson for the leadership of the Tories in 2019 said: “He did a great job to bring us to Brexit, now he can retire.

A Johnson spokesman said the prime minister would fight to keep his job even if 54 Tory MPs banded together and provoked a no-confidence vote.

But Wednesday, despite the odds, offered Johnson a little respite. As Commons Chairman Sir Lindsay Hoyle said, to the side he picked up the microphone: “What. Dan. “

Source link

Leave a Reply