Boris Johnson Ignores Growing Calls From His Party To Resign, Vowing To Continue With His 'Colossal Mandate'

Zinger Key Points
  • Johnson's government has seen the resignation of 21 ministers and parliamentary aides within 24 hours.
  • Members of the Conservative Party are reportedly studying whether to rewrite rules to force a new vote of no confidence.

Embattled U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed that he would not step down despite a growing number of resignations from his government and an increasing volume of calls from within his ruling Conservative Party that he needs to leave.

What Happened: According to combined media reports, Johnson informed the House of Commons Wednesday that he’ll “keep going” despite the internecine conflict within his party and growing public dissatisfaction with his job performance.

“The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when he’s been handed a colossal mandate is to keep going and that’s what I’ll do,” said Johnson to the members of Parliament during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session.

But in a rare Parliament rebuke of a sitting prime minister by a member of his own party, Johnson was berated in Parliament by Sajid Javid, who resigned yesterday as his health minister.

“I have concluded that the problem starts at the top and I believe that is not going to change and that means that it is for those of us in a position who have responsibility to make that change,” Javid said. “I wish my cabinet colleagues well and I can see they have decided to remain in the cabinet. They will have their own reasons but it is a choice. I know just how difficult that choice is but let’s be clear; not doing something is an active decision.”

Johnson’s government has received 21 resignations from ministers and parliamentary aides within less than 24 hours, although Johnson’s press secretary said the new vacancies will be filled in the coming days.

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Why It Happened: Johnson’s government found itself fraying over the past couple of years due to public unhappiness over his handling of Brexit and news that his office broke local laws in hosting parties during the period of COVID lockdowns, for which he was fined.

The new problems began after Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher resigned last week following complaints that he groped two men at a private club. The report on Pincher’s behavior triggered a wave of additional accusations of problematic past behavior. Johnson promoted Pincher in February and initially claimed he was unaware of the accusations against him, though he apologized to the members of Parliament today.

“I greatly regret that he continued in office,” Johnson said. “In hindsight I should have realized he would not change.”

Johnson survived a Conservative Party vote of no confidence last month, and under current party rules another vote cannot be brought for another year. Bloomberg cited an unnamed “person familiar with the matter” in reporting the committee that represents rank-and-file Conservative parliamentarians are meeting today to determine if the party’s rules can be changed to force Johnson’s eviction from office.

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Photo: Number 10/Flickr Creative Commons.

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