It was this week that the Tory party – from cabinet ministers to grassroots associations – began to believe that the end was near for Boris Johnson’s prime minister.
“The problem is that he did not accept it under any circumstances,” said a senior Tory adviser with knowledge of the PM’s inner circle.
And so began the period that a Conservative minister described as the “purge” of the PM’s job – the gap between what was politically done for a leader and the moment he resigned.
Downing Street was expected to draw the line Partygate scandal In the new year, headlines on the Tories before Christmas and after the scary race of rebellious mood.
But after a brief hiatus, bad news for Johnson reappeared Monday night when ITV learned that Johnson Participated in the “Bring Your Alcohol” social program In the garden number 10 in which 100 people were invited. Wednesday, he said Sorry in the House of Commons, While several prominent Tories called for his resignation.
By Friday morning, Downing Street had found itself Apologizing to the queen When it came out that two other parties were being held at No. 10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, the Prime Minister was away in checkers.
However, some of those who spoke to Johnson this week said he was not in the mood to accept what many Tory lawmakers now see as inevitable.
A person present in the cabinet on Tuesday said that Mood Johnson, number 10, had a “complete denial” about the seriousness of the situation he was facing. Describing the “bizarre” and “humorous” virtual meeting, he said the cabinet minister did not mention the political threat facing Johnson, as patriarch Rishi Sunak had given a presentation on the economy and health secretary Sajid Javid. Update on Omicron.
The fact that no one was ready to confront the Prime Minister on how to get out of the current quagmire has left his cabinet colleagues wondering what will happen next – and may be a sign of which of them is best to succeed him.
In any case, most Tory lawmakers now believe that with Johnson running before the next election, there is strong disagreement about the best time for him to leave. The most obvious way to challenge the prime minister is for a 50 or more lawmakers to submit a no-confidence motion against him to the 1922 Backbencher Committee.
But some of Johnson’s opponents are concerned that there is a risk that he will still be able to secure enough votes among his colleagues, even after all, which means he will be safe for next year.
MPs said another reason for the delay was the leadership team’s challenge Potential opponents – Like Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid – still do not feel fully prepared for the competition.
They can see the economic pain in the cost of living in the country this spring and believe it would be better to keep Johnson in place for a while to “suck that unpopularity”, an MP said. A vote of no confidence is likely to be successful only with the tacit support of the cabinet-led candidates and the lawmakers on their list of supporters.
Then there are the veteran lawmakers who have seen the prime minister in some of the scariest weather and believe that the party should keep the fire burning until public outcry subsides and elections are held again, presumably using local elections as a barometer.
Others disagree, believing that a lame duck prime minister would be too bad to be in office for too long, and that the risk of losing council seats is at stake, arguing that the time for reckoning must come soon. The Caucus – which includes many centrist Tories and some concerned about their 2017 and 2019 seats – has been pushing for a challenge since Su Gray’s report was published in the No. 10 parties during the lockdown, which could eventually be published. Next week
The lawmakers said there would be “phone calls and zooms” in the next few days where they would formulate their strategy and whether it was the right time to seek a vote of confidence in his leadership.
Many MPs are also using the weekend to voice their constituencies and unions.
A 2019 Tory MP, Lee Anderson, with a survey of options to meet people, sent a message to people asking their views, asking: “a) He has made a mistake and apologized. It’s time to move on. B) He has made a mistake and should go. C) He has made a mistake and should have a six-month departure plan. “
Determining his position, Anderson said: “Personally, I do not support anyone who deliberately does wrong but I also know that our country is at a critical point in defeating the virus.”
Other Tory lawmakers have written to voters believing Johnson’s position would be “impossible” if the Gray Report found serious errors. But privately, some lawmakers believe the bar is low and that any new revelations in the Gray Report could push him out, which would get him involved. Party culture. There is a fear that photos, videos or new revelations may come in the media at any time.
While backbenchers may be the ones implementing the challenge, the mood of the cabinet will be key. The least supportive was Rishi Sunak, the patriarch, who issued a statement in support of his apology but was marked by the absence of any other support remarks.
But many cabinet ministers still believe Johnson may still be able to find a way to change things. Among his senior colleagues, his biggest defenders were Home Secretary Priti Patel and Culture Secretary Nadine Doriz.
Others reserve the decision until they see how he reacts in the next week or so – especially when it comes to whether or not he is willing to improve his operations.
Colleagues admit he is “a campaigner, not a manager”, and he needs better support at No. 10, a cabinet minister said.
“Boris is looking at the outbreak in a way he hasn’t done before in his premiere,” he says. “But if anyone on the planet can get away with it, it’s Boris. He has characteristics that defy normal expectations.”