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British PM Johnson has done irreparable damage to Conservative Party image

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Boris Johnson Xmass Party 2020 Press TV composite image)

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire as his performance is costing his party some of its safest seats.

Mired in controversy and facing mutiny from his own party, Boris Johnson has dealt such damaging blows to the image of the Conservative party that it may be beyond repair, while he risks losing his job as a result.

By-election defeat, “the party is over”

In another setback for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his conservative party has lost its North Shropshire seat to liberal Democrats in a by election, a constituency which the Tories had dominated for nearly 200 years.

In her victory speech, Helen Morgan said the results reflect the British people's views about the Conservative Party.

Tonight the people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people. They've said loudly and clearly. Boris Johnson, the party's over.

Helen Morgan MP, Shropshire North

The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats, in my view, have never been an alternative to the Conservative Party.

There is really very, very little difference between the policies of the Liberal Democrats, conservatives, in other words, when the Conservatives lose credibility, they bring out the Liberal Democrats who are sort of centrist, never represented any concrete or coherent alternative to the Conservative Party.

Gearoid O Colmain, Political Analyst

Conservative lawmaker Roger Gale also says the by-election can be regarded as a referendum on the Prime Minister's performance.

The by-election was called after the former MP for North Shropshire stepped down for breaching parliamentary paid lobbying rules.

The British government tried to avert the resignation by changing the rules, but later faced a backlash and was forced to backtrack.

That was only one in the long list of issues raising questions about Boris Johnson's leadership.

Opposition politicians accused Johnson of being a serial liar and incompetent leader with some demanding that he resign.

Boris Johnson acknowledged that the shocking results of the North Shropshire by-election contained a message for him and his party.

I'm responsible for everything that government does; of course I take two weeks to respond.

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

But there's too much responsibility to shoulder as Boris Johnson's tenure has been replete with a spate of allegations and scandals.

The PM stands accused of breaking the law by using Conservative Party donations to renovate his residence at number 11 Downing Street.

He is also under pressure for reported parties in his office last Christmas, blatantly disregarding the very COVID-19 restrictions the government had imposed.

The Guardian and The Independent have also reported that Boris Johnson himself joined a pizza party in Downing Street in May last year amid the first nationwide lockdown.

So the public is very angry with the fact that they obviously didn't believe what they were telling the public, they didn’t believe it themselves, so we are dealing with a lack of confidence now, and trust, in what the British government says. That has been pretty much focused on Boris Johnson himself.

Gearoid O Colmain, Political Analyst

The Prime Minister is also under fire for his handling of the pandemic. On Tuesday, he suffered a humiliating rebellion from conservative MPs over measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

In addition, damaging disclosures have surfaced about some of the Conservative MPs who have moonlighted as political consultants or advisors receiving tens of thousands of pounds by lobbying.

The metaphorical pendulum in Britain's domestic politics appears to be swinging toward the other side of the political spectrum, just as the “Sword of Damocles” unerringly approaches Boris.

However, all is not lost; the Conservatives still have a couple of years to stop that from happening, if nothing else goes wrong.

 


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