The publication of the first part of the report on the ‘party door’, the scandals of the parties held in downing street in the midst of a pandemic, it leaves Boris Johnson in a more fragile position than ever. In the document prepared by the official Sue Gray in an “extremely limited” way, there is talk of a “leadership failure” in a government building where there were often excesses and ethical standards were broken.
The Professor of Law at the University of Leicester, Adam Cygan, tells RTVE.es that the document “is very clear” and that shows “a series of failures in Downing Street”. “Every time it is more evident that all failures emanate” by Boris Johnson, he stresses.
A substantial majority of citizens and the opposition Johnson’s words are not believed Y ask for his resignation. More than 63% of Britons think that the Prime Minister should resign. Within the Conservative Party, divided and in crisis, some MPs have stopped showing their support for Johnson, there is even someone calls for his resignation in public.
All eyes are now on the Scotland Yard police investigation and also on the ‘1922 Committee’, the parliamentary group of the ‘tories’, which could force a motion of internal confidence if you receive at least 54 cards against Johnson’s leadership. This would be the only option to remove Boris Johnson from power, since he has repeatedly stated that he will not resign.
Johnson less credible after report
The London Metropolitan Police asked senior officer Sue Gray to exclude from his report specific findings about the events on which the police investigation is focused. However, the progress of the 12-page document has shown that the scandals published in recent weeks by the British media are worrying and denote errors in the Johnson administration.
Cygan says that “the report is very clear that there are a number of failures in Downing Street.” “It is becoming more and more evident that all failures emanate as a result of it”, affirms Cygan, who points out that the “problem” that Johnson now has is that “he is facing a Parliament and people from his own party who they no longer believe what he says”.
The Prime Minister has accepted the conclusions of Sue Gray’s report, apologized and promised to “fix it”, but his words remain unconvincing. Professor Cygan assures that there is “more people who do not believe Johnson than those who voted to leave the European Union”. “I think this says it all. not believed at all”, he asserts.
According to a survey conducted by YouGov after Gray’s document was made public, the 63% of Britons think the prime minister should resign, something that Boris Johnson has ruled out again and again in recent weeks.
Professor of Political Science at the University of Sussex, Paul Webb, considers that “if there is a continuous increase in criticism of him (Johnson) and, in particular, within his own party, then I think he is going to be in a very difficult situation. delicate”, although he stresses that “if he makes it to the end of this week then maybe he can hold on to power”. In addition, Webb believes that “one of the things that could save Johnson is the uncertainty about who should replace him if he resigns or is expelled.”
The party gate, a “real crisis” for the Conservative Party
During his speech this Monday before the House of Commons, Boris Johnson, received harsh criticism from the opposition, but also by members of his own party, including former Prime Minister Theresa May, who stressed that “no one is above the law.” Furthermore, Conservative MP Andrew Mitchel stated that he had decided to withdraw his support for Johnson.
“The report has allowed several deputies of his party show their faces and say that they do not trust Johnson and that they no longer support him, ”says Cygan, who points out that the Conservative Party is experiencing a “real crisis”. “This is a crisis that is not new, it is a continuation of the one that the party has faced for the last two years over Europe and the brexit, and I think it is a crisis created by himself (Johnson) ”, he adds.
The professor at the University of Leicester assures that the Conservative Party “will be very hard on Johnson if he sees that his behavior is leading to losing votes and losing the next election”. “They will push to get rid of him or enough to force him to resign,” he stresses. In December 2021, the Conservative Party lost local elections in the county of North Shropshire, a seat that they preserved for almost two centuries
Several Conservative MPs were waiting for the publication of the Gray document to send letters to the ‘1922 Committee’, the parliamentary group of the ‘Tories’. To force a confidence motion against Johnson, 54 letters would be necessary and, so far, it is unknown how many the group has received. Paul Webb says that the chairman of the ‘1922 Committee’, Graham Brady, “is notoriously silent about how many letters he has received or if he has received any at all.” “Really we don’t know how close it is to that magic number of 54 that would trigger a motion,” he asserts.
The police investigation, a “respite” for Johnson
Sue Gray’s findings prompted the London Metropolitan Police to open a parallel investigation into the Downing Street parties before the senior official’s document was made public.
Scotland Yard confirmed this Monday that it has more than 300 photographs and 500 pages of documents facilitated by Gray’s investigation, some tests with which he will choose the people who will be interrogated to clarify if they violated the rules against the coronavirus.
Professor Adam Cygan stresses that Johnson “clearly stated that he did not attend any events, parties or gatherings and that is clearly not the case.” “The Metropolitan Police are investigating at least three events in which he was, including one that took place in his own home,” he clarifies.
The British Police have indicated that the Police investigation may take “no more than a year”, something that, according to Webb, “could be useful” for Johnson. “A year seems like an incredibly long time, at least in politics, because in that time we could even have another election,” explains the professor at the University of Sussex, who adds that, in this sense, “Gives a break” to the prime minister.
Efforts to prevent his downfall
After the publication of the report, Johnson announced that his Government will create the function of a “permanent secretary” who will oversee how the prime minister’s offices function. In addition, the conservative leader has repeatedly avoided talk about the possibility of resigning and has tried divert attention to achievement achieved by your Executive.
For Paul Webb, “it is quite clear” that Johnson “has no intention of resigning, so will fight to keep his position with any means at his disposal. “Boris Johnson has tried to take new initiatives and is trying something like give an impression of acting with energy and that he is doing things typical of a statesman, in some way“, he emphasizes.
For his part, Professor Cygan assures that the British Prime Minister “he is playing to buy time”. “He is hopeful that the longer this goes on, the fewer people will be interested and, the longer you can get, the longer you can stay in office and the more chances you have of surviving this,” he asserts.