Boris Johnson’s control over the government may be slipping away.
The Prime Minister’s ability to handle the sleaze row has been called into question by MPs, writes Katy Balls.
Boris Johnson was supposed to put Global Britain on the map at the COP26 summit in Glasgow this week.
Instead of demonstrating the UK’s green muscle on the international stage, Johnson has had to deal with some of the worst front-page headlines since becoming Prime Minister, as a Tory sleaze row has erupted in Westminster.
It would be an understatement to say that No 10’s decision to support Owen Paterson over a lobbying rule violation backfired.
Downing Street had to backtrack on its plans before lunch the next day after ordering MPs to block his suspension and vote for a new standards system.
Paterson has resigned as a member of Parliament, but the controversy is far from over.
The Conservative poll lead has eroded, MPs are on a rampage, and CCHQ is preparing for a by-election in Paterson’s Shropshire seat.
“It’s a total and utter disaster,” one MP says. “Downing Street has managed to irritate absolutely everyone,” another Government member adds.
Paterson supporters are enraged that No 10 reversed its decision, while critics are irritated that they were ever asked to support him in the first place.
The blame game that is currently being played across Westminster is a sign of the discontent.
Conservative MPs are fed up with Paterson’s supporters, many of whom are from the Brexiteer European Research Group.
Bernard Jenkin, a friend of the MP who recused himself from the committee, spent much of Wednesday morning defending the proposed changes on multiple WhatsApp groups.
Chief Whip Mark Spencer and Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg are the two ministers who have received the most criticism in the Cabinet.
When it came to the motion and parliamentary strategy, Rees-Mogg used a podcast to raise questions about his treatment.
Spencer’s ability to do his job as Chief Whip is being questioned by No 10 officials.
They claim that due to faulty intelligence, the Prime Minister was caught off guard by how badly the plan would be received by his party.
News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.
Boris Johnson’s grip on power could be slipping.
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Boris Johnson may be losing his grip on Government