MPs 'at stage two of ousting' Boris Johnson PM says Kuenssberg
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The news comes as Mr Johnson emerges politically scathed following a series of scandals that have rocked the Conservative Party, and the PM’s integrity to the very core. With multiple calls for the Prime Minister to hand in his resignation, including from Tory Party MP’s, Ms Kuennsberg’s warning adds another large wave hitting an already unsteady boat.
Reminding the Prime Minister that his enormous 79 seat majority was now in jeopardy, referring to the red-wall voters who could easily swing into the opposite direction, she said: “The “red wall” group, with new seats from 2019, know they owe them in large part to Mr Johnson, but they also see themselves as champions of their areas.”
She added: “And some of them don’t feel they have much to show for that just yet. Some Northern Tories are said, increasingly, to believe that the PM is “all mouth, no trousers,” suggesting Tory MP’s are also concerned their own performance will be tarred with the same brush.
Red Wall Tory MP worries have been backed up by the notion that the crises unfolding has not been of their own making.
Ms Kuennsberg said: “The mistakes have been all the worse because they were miscalculations of Downing Street’s own making.”
She added: “Almost nothing riles MPs and ministers outside the clique at the top of government more than No 10 making mistakes for which they all have to answer.”
Speaking of the resentment being felt within the corridors of the Conservative Party, the BBC political editor said: “The atmosphere inside is described as deadly silent, horrible as if the lights are on, but no-one’s really home.”
One MP speaking to Ms. Kuennsberg described a clear lack of discipline at Downing Street, highlighted by the Christmas Party-gate affair.
They said: “They all have to be shut down. We do not need a fairground. Downing Street has to be run like a military camp.”
The silence it seems is extended to Government meetings, with some MP’s feeling they are better off sitting in silence.
One MP said: “Nothing important is discussed in our meetings.”
At the start of meetings the PM verbally encourages them to contribute, but the implicit message is, “Don’t speak up.” they feel.
One jokes that they message each other instead of about how bad things are.
Ms Kuennsberg summed up the general mood by saying: “The problem for Mr Johnson is that the only thing they agree on is how unhappy they are.”
There is no sign that Mr Johnson is prepared to make any changes to his team over the fiasco.
The only departure was Allegra Stratton, who resigned on Wednesday as a senior government spokeswoman, who carried the can for this week’s humiliating leaked video footage.
Yet with so many vocal critics warning the Prime Minister to act, or demanding he resign, perhaps more worrying for Mr Johnson is the eerie silence emanating from other senior Tory MP’s.
With backbenchers calling for the PM to walk, the fact that Sajid Javid has avoided the media, and Jacob Rees- Mogg, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Priti Patel have yet to wade into the turmoil to steady the waters, it seems that the Prime Minister is wading in deep water without any help.
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Ms Kuennsberg sums up a very important fact surrounding the politics of Westminster.
She says: But as so often, while the Westminster rumour mill loves almost nothing more than speculating about who is in and who is out, the fairly desperate state of affairs is in the end, always, about the boss.”
She adds: “Tone and culture is set by the person at the top, whoever else is up or down.”
With the UK set to face yet another crisis in the form of a fast-spreading variant of the Covid-19 virus, all eyes will be on the Prime Minister as Christmas approaches, and the memories of the disobedience of the Tories surrounding their own Christmas plans last year remains fresh in their minds as the PM relies on his charm and charisma to see him into the New Year.
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