Outrage at Garden Party: Johnson falters from scandal to scandal

Outrage at Garden Party: Johnson falters from scandal to scandal

Thus: 01/13/2022 3:28 PM

Has the always comfortable British prime minister lost his ability? Many Britons can’t believe Boris Johnson apologized for his lockdown garden party – even as party friends keep their distance.

By Christoph Prossel, ARD Studio London

Calling Douglas Ross “mild” is ridiculous: the politician is the chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party, sits in the House of Commons and the Scottish Territorial Parliament. Perhaps someone in Germany would describe his role as president of the national group. The fact that the ultra-conservative Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg labeled him mild was a receipt of Ross’s candid words for Prime Minister Boris Johnson: Ross stated that he is now Conservative Party leader and Johnson as Prime Minister. The latter were not acceptable. Said that the words “Excuse me” were used in the House of Commons, but his sentences were not at all like an apology.

Christophe Procelli
ARD-Studio London

Johnson acknowledged that he was at the Garden Party at Government House on May 20, 2020, but made it clear that he had treated the gathering in the Garden at 10 Downing Street as an executive meeting. Ross and his candid statement on these events are noteworthy as well as a symptom of conservatives: more and more lawmakers in the party are distancing themselves from Johnson. The controversy about the leader of the party within the Conservative Party has reached its full swing among the public.

Ego separates parts of the country

At the same time, the exchange of blows between Ross and Rees-Mogg shows the absolute arrogance of London’s power: for many MPs, Scotland is far away – and not just geographically. The country has its own regional parliament and a degree of independence with one party, the Scottish National Party, which fights for independence and has 48 MPs in the House of Commons. So to tell a Scottish Conservative leader that he is mild is exactly the kind of arrogance that runs deep in the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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But other Tory lawmakers are also turning their backs – albeit less loudly. There is fear in the party that Johnson, who was able to win so many votes from his comfort and unconventional form, has now lost his political ability and is stumbling from scandal to scandal.

Labor is now ahead in the election. Affected people in the media talk about the fact that in May 2020 they were not allowed to visit their relatives in the hospital, but at the same time parties were celebrated at number 10 Downing Street.

Late call for support from followers

The line behind Boris Johnson is still half closed. Liz Truss, Secretary of State who is also rumored to be his successor, defended Johnson in her tweets, as did Interior and Radical Secretary Priti Patel, when it comes to asylum policy and border security.

On the other hand, popular finance minister Rishi Sunak was not in the lower house yesterday. He did not sit behind Johnson, where he usually nods in agreement when the prime minister needs support in a debate. Sunak had an appointment with a company that is active in the pharmaceutical sector and had announced investments and jobs.

Hours after the debate, Sunak wrote on Twitter that Johnson had done everything right to apologise and now await the final report of the investigation. Active support looks different. Many see this reluctance as proof that Sunak is waiting for the right time to replace the prime minister.

Government official Sue Gray plans to present a final report on the parties next week. People are already joking about what new information is about to emerge from this report – the evidence is overwhelming. An invitation letter quoted by broadcaster ITV said: “Let’s make the most of this beautiful day” and “bring your own drink”. It doesn’t sound like a work meeting at all.

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