In early 2022, former British prime minister Boris Johnson found himself in a bind: he was caught red handed violating the COVID-19 restrictions that he himself imposed upon the British populace. In a controversy now known as the “Partygate” scandal, the conservative prime minister took part in outrageous parties in the midst of a national lockdown. Now, Johnson has lost countless conservative supporters following his renewed appearance as a hypocritical leader. As British citizens died from COVID-19, quarantined to prevent the spread of the pandemic, and were forced to halt their own social lives, Boris Johnson did anything but that.
In a speech to the House of Commons in January 2022, Boris Johnson admitted to attending a BYOB drinking party in May of 2020 on Downing street, the prime minister’s residence, during the height of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Johnson attempted to justify his wrongdoing by claiming that the party was solely “work” related, and that the purpose was to thank his staff for their service. The Prime Minister delivered a factitious apology, stating the obvious: that he should have expressed his gratitude in a different way. Sources point out that individuals at Johnson’s “work” event drank excessively, further challenging the idea that the event was simply work related.
After Johnson’s speech, Keir Starmer, head of the Labour Party, expressed his thoughts on the matter, stating that Johnson must step down as Prime Minister.
Based on the large volume of supporters that Johnson lost, conservative legislators are unsure if he will be re-elected. In order to oust Johnson,15% of Conservative Party lawmakers must send letters to Graham Brady, a conservative Member of the Parliament. Then, the 359 Conservative legislators would vote on removal. In order for Johnson to stay in office, he needs at least 180 votes. Hypothetically, if Johnson was to be voted out by the Conservative Party, then he would stay in office until conservative legislators elect a new Prime Minister. Possible conservative candidates are Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Sunak is a highly involved Chancellor of the Exchequer and Member of the Parliament. Truss is Foreign Secretary and a passionate supporter of women’s rights.
For now, the only thing that we can do is sit back and watch the process unfold. When and will Prime Minister Boris Johnson be ousted from his position?
By: Arjun Shah