Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Boris Johnson resigns: Five things that led to the PM's downfall

Boris Johnson resigns: Five things that led to the PM's downfall

Less than three years ago, Boris Johnson led the Conservatives to their biggest election victory since 1987.

Now, the prime minister has lost the support of his MPs and is set to resign. How did it come to this?

The Chris Pincher affair

On Wednesday 29 June, the MP Chris Pincher - at the time, the Conservative deputy chief whip - went to a private members' club in London. In his words, he "drank far too much" and "embarrassed himself".

He was accused of groping two men, which led to a flurry of allegations, some dating back years. It set off a chain of events that ended with the prime minister's downfall.

First, Downing Street said Mr Johnson was not aware of "specific allegations" about Mr Pincher before appointing him as deputy chief whip in February. Ministers later reiterated this line - even though it turned out to be inaccurate.

On 4 July, the BBC reported Mr Johnson had been aware of a formal complaint. The next day, a former civil servant - Lord McDonald - said the prime minister had been told of the complaint in person.

Mr Johnson then admitted he had been told in 2019, and apologised for appointing Mr Pincher as deputy chief whip.


In April this year, the prime minister was fined for breaking lockdown rules, after attending a gathering on his birthday in June 2020.

He also apologised for going to a "bring your own booze" party in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown.

More widely, the Metropolitan Police issued 126 fines to 83 people for breaking lockdown rules in Downing Street and Whitehall.

And a report by Sue Gray - a senior civil servant - described a series of social events by political staff that broke lockdown rules.

"The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture," she wrote.

Last December, Mr Johnson told the Commons that "all guidance was followed completely in No 10". He is now being investigated by a Commons committee over whether he knowingly misled Parliament.

The cost of living crisis - and a tax rise

Inflation has risen sharply in 2022, to the current rate of 9.1%.

Many of the reasons were outside of Boris Johnson's control. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, for example, has led to rises in oil prices and the cost of food.

And, while the government has taken some steps - for example, by cutting fuel duty by 5p per litre - it also went ahead with a tax rise in April. National Insurance went up by 1.25 pence in the pound.

The government said the tax rise would pay for health and social care, and changes that kicked in this week softened the blow - but anyone earning more than £34,000 a year will still pay more.

"In the middle of the worst cost of living crisis for decades," said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in April, "the government chooses to increase taxes on working people".

Owen Paterson row

In October 2021, a House of Commons committee recommended a 30-day suspension for then-Conservative MP Owen Paterson.

The committee said he broke lobbying rules, to try to benefit companies who paid him.

But the Conservatives - led by the prime minister - voted to pause his suspension, and set up a new committee to look at how investigations were carried out.

After an outcry, Mr Paterson ended up resigning. Mr Johnson later admitted he had "crashed the car" in his handling of the case.

Lack of focus - and ideas

Boris Johnson won his thumping majority on the back of a clear, easy-to-follow policy - Get Brexit Done.

But since then, his critics said, there was a lack of focus and ideas in Downing Street.

His ex-adviser turned chief critic, Dominic Cummings, repeatedly accused him of being an out-of-control shopping trolley, veering from position to position.

Others questioned the prime minister's philosophy - or, indeed, if he had one. In June, Conservative MP and former minister Jeremy Hunt accused Mr Johnson of lacking "integrity, competence, and vision".

Mr Hunt was speaking before a confidence vote, which Mr Johnson won - but the complaints were getting louder.

The by-election defeats kept coming. After the latest, Mr Johnson said he would not undergo a "psychological transformation".

But that, now, is not the concern of Conservative MPs. They have spoken, and the prime minister is going.

Watch Boris Johnson admit to attending the No 10 party in May 2020

Watch: 'Enough is enough,' says Sajid Javid in his resignation speech


Related Articles

Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'