Who would have thought that Boris Johnson’s reign as Prime Minister would be so chaotic.
The problem isn’t so much his inability to manage, or his hypocrisy over Covid or his repeated philandering. It is his inability to tell the truth.
The latest crisis erupted after a Tory MP Chris Pincher was accused of groping two men while under the influence of alcohol.
He had previously been forced to resign as assistant whip in 2017 after other allegations of sexual misconduct had been made public. It had been claimed that Johnson said about his former whip that he was “Pincher by name, pincher by nature”.
Johnson was quizzed repeatedly about what he knew about Pincher. His response initially was that he was unaware of any specific complaints against Pincher, then he said that he was aware of media reports and allegations but had thought that they were “either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint”. But there had been an official complaint and investigation by the Foreign Office which confirmed Pincher’s misconduct. Then it emerged Johnson had been briefed in person about Pincher.
Johnson then admitted that he had appointed Pincher to a government position despite having been told about the complaint and acknowledged that he had made a bad mistake by not acting on the complaint.
Then the resignations started flowing. So far these have included:
Tory vice-chairman Bim Afolami resigned live on TV.
Astonishing moment Tory minister RESIGNS on live TVhttps://t.co/BcgOYea6qQ
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) July 5, 2022
The insults also flowed. For instance Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell has said this:
“It’s a bit like the death of Rasputin. He’s been poisoned, stabbed, he’s been shot, his body’s been dumped in the freezing river and still he lives,” Mitchell told BBC Newsnight.
He was also adamant that it was “over” for the prime minister.
“This is an abnormal Prime Minister – brilliantly charismatic, very funny, very amusing, big, big character, but I’m afraid he has neither the character nor the temperament to be our prime minister.”
No doubt others will resign as well. Can the last remaining Conservative Cabinet Minister not forget to turn out the lights?
Others are blithely still drinking the cool aide.
I’m not sure anyone actually doubted this, however, I am 💯 behind @BorisJohnson the PM who consistently gets all the big decisions right.
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) July 5, 2022
It can only be a matter of when Johnson goes. If he survives the week I will be impressed.