Political enemies revel in Boris Johnson’s misfortunes in Parliament


Protesters calling for the impeachment of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demonstrate outside Parliament in London, Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)


A defiant British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, insisted on Wednesday that he was getting on with his job, as he faced parliament for the first time since 41% of his own party’s lawmakers called on him to quit.

Johnson was left reeling after surviving a vote of no confidence from Conservative Party lawmakers by a narrower-than-expected margin. A total of 148 of 359 Conservative lawmakers voted against him in Monday’s poll.

Johnson says he plans to move forward and focus on core issues such as eliminating national health care backlogs, tackling crime, mitigating a cost crisis in life and the creation of highly qualified jobs in a country which has left the European Union. .

“As far as jobs go, I’ll take care of my own,” he told lawmakers during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session in the House of Commons.

But opponents of Johnson’s party say they haven’t given up on pushing him back. They fear Johnson, his reputation tarnished by revelations of watered-down government parties that broke COVID-19 regulations, will condemn the party to defeat in the next national election, due to be held by 2024.

Still, Tory lawmakers dutifully applauded Johnson during boisterous Prime Minister’s Questions, while opponents relished the Prime Minister’s troubles.

Opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer said any Tory inclined to give Johnson another chance would be disappointed.

“They want him to change – but he can’t,” Starmer said.

Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford called Johnson “a lame prime minister presiding over a divided party in a disunited kingdom”.

Blackford compared Johnson to the Monty Python comedy troupe character, the Dark Knight, who has his limbs severed in battle, while proclaiming “It’s just a flesh wound!”

And Labor lawmaker Angela Eagle asked: ‘If 148 of her own backbench MPs don’t trust her, why the hell should the country?’

Johnson replied that “in a long political career so far, of course I have picked up political opponents everywhere”.

But he said ‘absolutely nothing and no one… will stop us from carrying on and delivering for the British people’.

While Conservative Party rules prohibit another vote of no confidence for 12 months, those rules can be changed by a handful of lawmakers who lead a key Conservative committee. Johnson is also facing a parliamentary ethics inquiry which could conclude he deliberately misled parliament about ‘turnout’ – which is traditionally a resignation offence.

With opinion polls giving Labor a national lead, Johnson will face more pressure if the Tories lose a special election later this month for two parliamentary constituencies where incumbent Tory lawmakers have been ousted by sex scandals.

Lynn A. Saleh