Despite an avalanche of departures from his government, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday rejected calls for the resignation from including his faithful, despite the unprecedented crisis in which repeated scandals have plunged him.
A far cry from the triumph of his 2019 Downing Street debut under the promise of delivering Brexit, the Conservative leader faced the toughest day of his tenure on Wednesday, hemmed in by embarrassing cases and their flood of accusations of lies.
Several senior ministers, including the loyal ones, have asked him to resign as the situation has become untenable, according to British media.
Among the names cited, Interior Minister Priti Patel, or Nadhim Zahawi, less than 24 hours after his appointment as Minister of Finance.
But as he had already done earlier in the day in front of the deputies, he retorted that he wanted to stay to devote himself "to the extremely important problems" facing the country, according to the press.
"We will continue with the government of this country," Boris Johnson said in the afternoon to the heads of parliamentary committees, moments after saying he was having a "tremendous" week.
Without warning, the Ministers of Health Sajid Javid and Finance Rishi Sunak slammed the door Tuesday evening, triggering the hemorrhage.
Other members of the government, of lower rank, have in turn thrown in the towel one after the other.
At the end of the day, the number of departures is close to 40.
Boris Johnson remained combative.
He judged that he would not be "responsible" to leave power in the current context, between purchasing power crisis and war in Ukraine.
Earlier, during the weekly question and answer session in front of MPs, punctuated by laughter and loud mockery, Boris Johnson said that the “colossal mandate” given to him by voters in 2019 gave him the duty to “ Continue ".
Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer slammed an end-of-reign 'pathetic spectacle', while Scottish nationalist SNP leader in the House of Commons Ian Blackford demanded a snap election.
An idea that Boris Johnson rejected out of hand.
The resigning ministers had harsh words for the head of government, questioning his honesty.
In front of the deputies, Sajid Javid detailed the reasons for his departure, convinced that Boris Johnson would not change: "that's enough", he launched, before some deputies resumed a mocking "bye Boris" launched by the One. Two.
Javid's resignation and that of his finance colleague was announced on Tuesday evening as Boris Johnson issued an apology after a new scandal.
Johnson admitted to having made a "mistake" in appointing Chris Pincher to his government in February, deputy chief "whip" in charge of parliamentary discipline for Conservative MPs.
The latter resigned last week after being accused of touching two men.
After claiming the opposite, Downing Street admitted on Tuesday that the Prime Minister had been informed as early as 2019 of old accusations against Mr Pincher, but that he had "forgotten" them.
“Integrity” in question
For Javid, 52, the British have a right to expect “integrity from their government”.
Boris Johnson quickly replaced the two resigners by appointing his Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi to Finance and Steve Barclay, hitherto in charge of government coordination, to Health.
But since the departures have multiplied.
According to a Savanta ComRes poll published on Wednesday, 72% of Britons believe the Prime Minister should resign.
Already significantly weakened by the scandal of illegal parties held in Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic, Johnson survived a vote of no confidence from his own camp a few weeks ago.
But according to the British press, behind the scenes, the anti-Johnson are maneuvering to allow a new vote quickly, by changing the current rule which protects the head of government for another 11 months.
The election of the executive office of the powerful "Committee 1922", competent to settle the question, must be held on Monday.
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