NewsWorldBruised PM Johnson faces opposition anger as allies desert government

Bruised PM Johnson faces opposition anger as allies desert government

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced tough questions in Parliament on Wednesday (July 6), with his premiership on the brink after a slew of resignations from ministers saying he was not fit to govern.

The resignations started on Tuesday (July 5) evening following a scandal involving Johnson’s appointment of  a now-former government lawmaker who has been subject of several complaints of sexual misconduct.

The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party, Keir Starmer, read out testimony of an alleged victim of former deputy chief whip Christopher Pincher, saying that it should be a reminder for all those “propping up” the Prime Minister.

“He knew the accused minister had previously committed predatory behaviour, but he promoted him to a position of power anyway. Why?” asked Starmer.

Johnson said that a complaint against Pincher was made, and that he “greatly regrets that he continued in office”.

Pincher’s resignation last Thursday (June 30) triggered days of a changing narrative from Downing Street over what the prime minister knew of the deputy chief whip’s behaviour and when he knew it.

Starmer also asked if Johnson has ever said “Pincher by name, pincher by nature,” which the prime minister neither confirmed nor denied.

The resignations come after months of scandals and missteps, with Johnson so far weathering criticism over a damning report into parties at his Downing Street residence and office that broke strict COVID-19 lockdowns and saw him fined by police.

There have been other policy U-turns, an ill-fated defence of another lawmaker who broke lobbying rules and he has also come under fire for not doing enough to tackle a cost-of-living crisis, with many Britons struggling to cope with rising fuel and food prices.

“Anyone quitting now after defending all that hasn’t got a shred of integrity,” Starmer said, asking if it was the first case of “sinking ships fleeing the rat.”

(Reuters)

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