I wanted to write about something else, but I can’t. Boris Johnson comma, Prime Minister full stop , has resigned or has he? It seems he has agreed to go and they are now as ever haggling about if he can hang on to September as a caretaker while the Tories elect a successor. It’s been an exciting 48 hours, started by Savid Javid and Rishi Sunak resigning in both gentile and savage terms. They have been followed by over half the government and counting.
Last night, and yesterday, including an amazing performance at the Parliamentary Liaison Committee where he admits to meeting Lebvedev an ex-KGB agent at one of his bunga bunga parties, without officials and reiterates the fallacious line that he has a 14m vote mandate and is going nowhere however some of the cabinet find their grey suits and visit him last night, they and the remaining cabinet including surprisingly Priti Patel but excluding Nadine Dorries and Michael Gove whom Boris sacked, tell him the game’s up. The following morning he agrees to resign and proposes he acts as caretaker. The same delaying tactics as usual in the hope people, be they voters or commentators will get bored.
This It would seem is unacceptable to the Tories and Kier Starmer says Labour will move a VONC in the House of Commons if that is what he proposes; we should also note that he hasn’t actually resigned and that serving another three months will trouser him £40k, (£20K above the MPs salary). The ex-premier John Major weighs in after lunch, saying that Johnson remaining PM even in a caretaker role is inappropriate as the cabinet have shown they have neither the will nor the inclination to control him.
Can Brexit survive the fall of Johnson? Stay European wrote to me today, saying,
And both Brexit and Johnson were based on the same politics: nostalgia, authoritarianism, denial about Britain’s place in the world and, above all else, lies upon lies upon lies.
On both fronts, the spell has worn off. The Tories removed Boris Johnson to save their own skins, because he is no longer an election winner. And likewise, Brexit’s popularity has also collapsed.