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Those watching the Boris Johnson Show must prepare for late-season twists in the tale

The revelations about the boozy parties at 10, Downing Street would have led to the instant fall of any leader of government — but not, apparently, Teflon Johnson.

A snap opinion poll conducted by YouGov on the day the Sue Gray investigative report on “Partygate” was published showed that three out of four Britons feel that Boris Johnson should resign.

The party ended two years ago, the hangover continues. In short: In 2020, when the rest of the UK was under strict Covid lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, along with senior politicians and civil servants, partied. There was cake, a cheese platter, drinks, even a photographer at taxpayers’ expense, while taxpayers stayed home, many of them cut off from family, friends and even health services. The revelations about the boozy parties at 10, Downing Street would have led to the instant fall of any leader of government — but not, apparently, Teflon Johnson.

A snap opinion poll conducted by YouGov on the day the Sue Gray investigative report on “Partygate” was published showed that three out of four Britons feel that Johnson should resign. And yet, even as he promises that the “entire senior management” at Downing Street has changed and calls for accountability grow louder in the UK media, the PM himself remains safely ensconced in power. This seems par for the course for a man who, almost since the start of his premiership, has been embroiled in one controversy after another, whether it’s the constitutional crisis he triggered when he tried to prorogue parliament for five weeks soon after he assumed office in 2019 to the controversy over how his Christmas holiday at a luxury villa in Mustique was funded.

When “Partygate” first made news in November last year, Johnson denied it completely. As more details started to spill into the public sphere, he continued to lie. How much longer the Boris Johnson show will go on, despite its many plot holes and inconsistencies, is anyone’s guess. But if his record so far is anything to go by — remember former PM David Cameron’s description of him as a “greased piglet” — those who’re still watching should prepare for late-season developments. There may yet be more twists in the tale.

This editorial first appeared in the print edition on May 27, 2022 under the title ‘Teflon leader’.

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First published on: 27-05-2022 at 03:38:19 am
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