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Innlegg i Utviklingsforslag > Turbulent week puts PM's leadership back in frame

  • Gee Mong
    mandag 25 april 2022 klokken 6.47

    Turbulent week puts PM's leadership back in frame

    A month or so of relative tranquillity in the Conservative party has come to an abrupt halt.

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    The resurfacing of partygate has put Boris Johnson's premiership in the frame again.

    A misreading of the mood among his MPs, prompting a hasty retreat over plans to delay a parliamentary investigation into whether he has misled MPs, has also raised questions about the new No 10 operation.

    One former cabinet minister believes Boris Johnson is in trouble, and predicts numerous Conservative MPs will submit letters of no confidence after the local elections on 5 May.

    "They'll be like sheep droppings," the grandee says of the many expected letters.

    Allies of the prime minister expected no more than a mildly uncomfortable couple of days this week, as he faced Parliament for the first time since his fine for attending a No 10 lockdown party.

    But two unexpected developments made this week much more difficult for Mr Johnson.


    Police fine
    Firstly, this week showed that when attention turns again to partygate, it still has the ability to envelope the prime minister - even when the war in Ukraine is still the overwhelming challenge.

    And secondly, the new government whips' office failed to detect the seriousness of the backbench rebellion against their plans to thwart an early investigation into the prime minister's parliamentary response.

    A telling moment came on Tuesday night, when the prime minister addressed his parliamentary party a few hours after apologising to the Commons for his police fine.

    One former minister complained that by the time of the party meeting, Mr Johnson's contrition had evaporated and he was simply playing to his core supporters. "It had a North Korean feel to it," the former minister complained.

    Barbed remarks from critics can be discounted. In a more worrying development for the PM, some of his closest allies felt unnerved by his appearance.

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