British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to step down Wednesday night despite mounting pressure from Parliament and a wave of resignations following the latest scandal in a tumultuous three years in office.
June 19, 2020: The scandals begin with a series of leaked photos showing Johnson hosting parties at 10 Downing Street – violating the country’s strict Covid-19 ban on gatherings, including a birthday party with 30 in attendance.
Nov. 4, 2021: Johnson attempts to delay the suspension of a conservative lawmaker censured for breaking lobbying rules, only to reverse course, calling his decision a “total mistake,” and allowing lawmakers to vote on the lawmaker’s suspension.
Dec. 8, 2021: Bowing to pressure, the Prime Minister authorizes an investigation into the party scandal – which has since garnered the nickname “Partygate.”
Jan. 6, 2022: Johnson apologizes – and blames his new phone – for hiding 2020 WhatsApp messages with a conservative donor, asking him to approve a £52,000 payment for interior design work on his apartment, though the prime minister receives an annual £30,000 public grant to spend on the quarters.
Feb. 3, 2022: U.K. Policy Chief Munira Mirza resigns over Johnson’s false claim that Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer failed to prosecute serial sex offender Jimmy Savile, which Johnson later walked back, saying Starmer “had nothing to do personally with those decisions.”
April 19, 2022: Johnson is fined £50 for at least 50 breaches of the law for attending the “Partygate” birthday party at 10 Downing, which he said he didn’t realize constituted a “party” — the breaches make Johnson the first prime minister to have broken the law while in office.
June 6, 2022: Some 54 conservative lawmakers in the House of Commons write a confidential letter to the Conservative party’s committee saying they have no confidence in Johnson, citing the Partygate scandal and concerns over his handling of the economy, triggering a no confidence vote among the party.
June 6, 2022: Johnson escapes a 211-148 no-confidence vote in the British Parliament – a vote that included 48 members of his own party who sought to oust him.
July 5, 2022: Treasury Chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid become the first of more than a dozen officials in Johnson’s government to resign over reports Johnson knew of allegations that former government minister Chris Pincher allegedly groped two men in a London club – and hired him anyway.
July 6, 2022: Johnson admits to meeting ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev without officials or security members present following the poisoning of former Russian military officer and British double-agent Sergei Skripal while he was foreign secretary in 2018.
“At some point, we have to conclude that enough is enough,” Javid told Johnson in Parliament on Wednesday, adding “the problem starts at the top.”
In response to the calls for resignation, Johnson told Parliament on Wednesday “the job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances, when he’s been handed a colossal mandate, is to keep going, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Parliament could call for a follow-up no-confidence vote, but only if parliamentary rules are changed to allow a second vote in the same year. Without a change, Johnson is immune to a vote for another year. Two members of the Conservative’s authoritative 1922 Committee told The Guardian they could decide as early as Wednesday afternoon to change the rules. Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said the Prime Minister believes he would win another vote.
This Really, Really, Really Might Be the End for Boris Johnson (New York Magazine)
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Fights For Survival After Wave Of Government Resignations (Forbes)
Boris Johnson digs in despite growing cabinet mutiny (BBC)