An ever-growing number of Members of Parliament from Boris Johnson’s own Conservative Party Wednesday evening were calling for him to step down as the United Kingdom’s prime minister.
So embattled was Johnson after apologizing to Parliament for being untruthful about attending a party without protective masks during lockdown, that there was already growing discussion over who would succeed him as leader of the Conservative Party and the new prime minister.
The early front-runners are Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who opposed Brexit but has since become popular through strong speeches on freedom, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, the son of an Indian physician who would become the UK’s first non-white prime minister.
Both Truss and Sunak tweeted their support for Johnson.
But others within the Conservative Party who spoke to us privately feel the prime minister will be gone sooner rather than later.
“It’s not just that ‘party-gate’ business,” a Conservative Party source in London who requested anonymity told Newsmax, “People are worried about forecasts inflation will hit 6 percent by spring and fuel costs could double this year. And we have municipal elections in May, and the Conservatives could take a shellacking with Boris still in power.”
According to a just-completed YouGov poll, the opposition Labour Party leads the Conservatives by 38 to 28 percent nationwide — a far cry from the last general election on December 12, 2019, when Johnson’s conservatives gained 48 seats in Parliament and won 43.6 percent of the popular vote.
Under party rules, if 54 Conservative MPs from the back benches send signed letters to the 1922 Committee — which oversees leadership contests — an up-or-down vote by the lawmakers on whether Johnson should remain party leader must be held.
It was such a leadership challenge by then-Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine in 1990 that ended the tenure of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Although Cabinet ministers are urging MPs to wait until a report on “Party-gate” by senior civil servant Sue Gray is completed, the odds are growing that the 54 letters need to trigger the leadership battle will be collected soon.
On Wednesday, Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross joined the “Boris Must Go” crowd along with the 14 other Conservative MPs from Scotland.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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