Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a rough Wednesday morning after two cabinet ministers and several junior ministers resigned on Tuesday, with most of Westminster agreeing that his time in Downing Street had begun.
Johnson, who came to power in December 2019 with a large majority, has since been at the centre of several moments when another prime minister would have resigned. Nevertheless, he persisted in defying conventions in British politics amid claims of his uneasy relationship with the truth.
On Wednesday morning, his aides insisted he had no plans to resign.
Johnson will face two particularly uncomfortable moments on Wednesday: the prime minister’s question hour in the House of Commons in the afternoon and statements before a liaison committee of senior lawmakers, who have often questioned his leadership, including those from his party. He has asked for his resignation.
In addition to another round of headlines in the British press on Wednesday, Johnson is likely to receive more resignation letters, mostly from junior ministers, as several of his depressed Conservative MPs have concluded he will win the next election in 2023. can’t lead to. Under his leadership, the party lost two more by-elections in June.
Besides the row over parties in Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic, Johnson’s leadership and character have been called into question on several occasions, the latest being the revelation that he appointed a controversial ally as the deputy whip of the party despite being informed of allegations of sexual misconduct against the individual.
Under party rules, Johnson cannot face another challenge to his leadership for one year after winning a vote of confidence in early June, even if that win was not convincing: 40 per cent of his MPs voted against him.
Such challenges are held by a committee of party MPs called the 1922 Committee. Elections to its committee are due next week when it is likely that his critics if they win, could change the rules and allow another challenge to his leadership shortly.
There is always the possibility that Johnson, like previous Prime Ministers, concludes that it is time to resign and travel the short distance to Buckingham Palace to inform Queen Elizabeth of his decision. Still, he has shown no inclination to follow this path.