BoJo on the Ropes? Labour Leader, Tory MPs Call on Boris to Resign Over Boozy Lockdown Scandals

Mayor of London Boris Johnson boxes with a trainer during his visit to Fight for Peace Academy in North Woolwich, London, on October 28, 2014. Fight for Peace uses boxing and martial arts combined with education and personal development to realise the potential of young people in the borough at …
LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and several Tory MPs have demanded that Boris Johnson resign over the litany of apparent boozy breaches of lockdown by the government.

The leader of Britain’s left-wing Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after reports of regular “wine-time Friday” gatherings at the Prime Minister’s Downing Street residence during lockdown.

In a speech delivered to the Fabian Society in London on Saturday, Starmer called the prime minister’s position “untenable” and demanded Johnson “do the honourable thing and call it a day for the good of the country,” Sky News reported.

Johnson’s government has been accused of multiple lockdown breaches throughout the pandemic and even held two Downing Street parties on the 16th of April 2021, the night before Prince Philip’s funeral. The UK government apologised to Queen Elizabeth II  this week after the gatherings were revealed in the press.

Despite having been embroiled in his own alleged rule-breaking scandal, Starmer branded Johnson as a “broken spectacle” who is “mired in deceit and deception”, and therefore is “unable to lead”.

The Labour leader — who previously served in radical socialist Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet — called for Conservative MPs to dethrone Johnson if he is unwilling to step down by his own accord.

“[It’s] very important that the Tory party does what it needs to do and gets rid of him [Johnson],” he said.

Starmer did admit that there would be a “party advantage” for Labour should Johnson resign, but claimed altruistic intentions in calling for Johnson to step down, saying that it is “now in the national interest that he goes”.

The barrage of leaks surrounding lockdown breaches by the government has coincided with a significant gain for the Labour Party in opinion polls.

The latest poll from YouGov – a British data analytics firm founded by now-government minister Nadhim Zahawi – has shown the Labour Party at 40 per cent with an 11-point lead over the Conservative Party.

The poll, which was conducted on the 12th-13th of January 2022, also showed that 35 per cent of voters would prefer Keir Starmer over Boris Johnson (22 per cent) as prime minister. Yet, 40 per cent of the 1690-person sample were “unsure either way”.

In response to the political peril facing the prime minister, Number 10 has reportedly launched “Operation Save Big Dog” – apparently named by Johnson himself — to counteract the narrative of government hypocrisy.

The scheme could include the sacking of senior government officials, including Johnson’s private secretary Martin Reynolds, who sent an email to over 100 staffers inviting them to a ‘bring your own booze’ party at Number 10 during the UK’s first lockdown in May of 2020.

This planned move has yet to protect Johnson from criticism from his party, however, with veteran Conservative MP Peter Bone calling for the PM to be “to be sacked’.

Douglas Ross MP, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, has also said that Johnson’s position is “untenable” as it was the PM, himself, who “put these rules in place” and therefore he “has to be held to account for his actions”.

Freshman MP Lee Anderson also weighed in on Johnson’s rule-breaking saying in a post on Facebook, “rule-makers should not be lawbreakers”.

Influential Tory MP Tobias Ellwood went so far as to give Johnson an ultimatum: “Lead, or get out of the way and step aside.”

Caroline Nokes MP branded Johnson “a liability” who was “damaging the Conservative brand”, calling on Johnson to resign “for the good of the party”.

It is understood that there could be up to 30 letters of no-confidence already sent by MPs to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the Conservative’s 1922 committee. If over 15 per cent of the 360 Conservative MPs (54 MPs) submit a letter to Sir Graham, the Conservative Party will be forced to hold a leadership election.

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