Boris Johnson 'unfit to be Prime Minister' says Butterworth
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Talk of the Prime Minister leaving office due to the parliamentary crisis has been rife, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer saying Boris Johnson was trashing the UK’s reputation. The Labour leader said the PM had repeatedly shown a pattern of being unable to “uphold standards in public life.” Mr Johnson attempted to change parliamentary rules to prevent Mr Paterson from being suspended – a move met with derision from his own party and opposition MPs.
Sir Keir branded the Prime Minister’s actions as “contemptible” and “corrupt”.
Mr Paterson was found to be in breach of rules by a parliamentary committee and resigned as MP for North Shropshire last week.
This week Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire laid the blame squarely on the PM for the crisis.
She said: “This is Tory sleaze pure and simple.
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“I said so at the time and I’m afraid to say that as the whole thing has unravelled throughout the week, it’s more and more what it looks like – it’s Tory sleaze and it’s on the Prime Minister.”
She continued: “I feel it leaves the Government with its reputation in tatters, but particularly Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“He does seem to have form here – there’s a pattern of behaviour – if we go back to the illegal prorogation of Parliament, for instance: that was an astonishing thing for any lawmaker to support, let alone the Prime Minister to lead on.
“We are lawmakers, we should not be lawbreakers. We should be upholding a system of standards and I’m afraid to say I think the public knows how to judge, and I think the public can see that this week, Tory MPs, led by the Tory Prime Minister, tried to protect someone who had been found guilty of doing things that MPs should never do, which is take a very large amount of money for a very large amount of access.”
Mr Johnson has been met with another blow as Labour called for an investigation into Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, who earned almost £900,000 through jobs outside of parliament.
Politicians are permitted to have second jobs outside of being an MP – but these are beholden to specific rules.
At this stage, there is no official suggestion Mr Cox has broken any of these rules – however some claim footage shows he conducted outside work in his parliamentary office, in breach of rules.
However, Mr Cox published a statement denying any wrongdoing.
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Now, leading betting exchange Smarkets has suggested there is a one-in-three chance of Mr Johnson being replaced as leader of the Conservatives before the next General Election.
Rishi Sunak has consistently been the favourite to replace the Prime Minister, with an implied 26 percent probability based on Smarkets’ latest odds.
The upcoming by-election triggered by Mr Paterson’s vacancy is expected to be a Tory win – but the odds for the Liberal Democrats to win the North Shropshire by-election have improved from 9/1 into 5/1.
Matthew Shaddick, Smarkets Head of Political Markets, told Express.co.uk: “With the Tories’ poll numbers on the slide and the PM getting a hammering in the media, one might expect the odds to suggest his position is under threat, but we’ve yet to see the market move much in response to the latest news.
“Smarkets users don’t yet feel there is any imminent prospect of Johnson being replaced, making it around a 2-in-3 chance he leads his party into the next general election.
“On the other hand, there definitely are signs of trouble for the Conservatives in the forthcoming North Shropshire by-election.
“Owen Paterson’s former seat has been a rock-solid Tory stronghold recently but, if the odds are any guide, we shouldn’t rule out a shock Liberal Democrat gain.
“Next month’s Old Bexley and Sidcup contest look less likely to cause the PM any major worries.
“The latest prices give his party a 92 percent chance of holding the seat.
“Labour appears to be the main challengers but the signs are that this one is not going to be particularly competitive.”
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