Boris Johnson “Partygate”: Found food for the British press

UK scandal
“Shame” and “Robber Gun Tory”: How the British press tore up Johnson’s “Partygate”

Boris Johnson’s “Partygate” is a hit with the British press

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The calls for Boris Johnson’s resignation are getting louder. His “Partygate” affair increases the political pressure – a treat for the British media. A look at the front pages.

Things are looking bleak for Boris Johnson. After reports of several government parties during the corona lockdown, the opposition initially called for the British Prime Minister to resign. But after more and more piquant details of the events come to light, parts of his own party are now turning their backs on him – also because the so-called “Partygate” affair is increasingly costing the conservatives their support. After a Survey by the opinion research institute Yougov On behalf of The Times, the opposition Labor Party is now ten percentage points ahead of Johnson’s Tories – the widest gap in eight years.

Johnson apologized in the House of Commons on Wednesday for a garden party on Downing Street during the first corona lockdown in May 2020. He assumed it was a working meeting, but in retrospect this was wrong. Johnson’s office manager had invited around 100 employees by email and emphasized: “Bring your own alcohol.”

For the British press, the prime minister’s antics are a godsend. A look at the front pages on Thursday.

For the “Daily Mirror” A single word is enough: “Shame” is the headline that appears in large white letters over a picture of Johnson during his apology in the House of Commons. In a longer subtitle the “Mirror” writes: “First Johnson said that no rules were broken … then he said he knew nothing about parties … now he admits he was at one of them … but didn’t know it was a party. “

the “time” publishes a picture of a grim-faced Johnson in the House of Commons – along with the headline ‘Defiant PM refuses to quit as polls continue to slide’. As the newspaper reports, Johnson was also defiant in conversations with party colleagues. He personally did nothing wrong, he is said to have said at a meeting.

With his apology, Johnson bought time, comments the Times. Nevertheless, the resistance within the party is great. “It’s over. It’s indefensible and it’s amazing how little support he has within the group,” the paper quoted a cabinet member as saying.

Also the “Guardians” focuses on a possible political end of Johnson. “The Prime Minister’s future on a razor’s edge after the No. 10 party apology,” reads the headline, alluding to London’s most famous street number – Johnson’s official residence at 10 Downing Street.

the “Financial Times” focuses on the growing resistance within the conservative party. The headline reads: “Johnson confronts Tories with termination demands after attending lockdown party”. Also the British morning paper “i” headlines ‘Tories call on Boris Johnson to resign’.

the “Telegraph” takes a slightly different tack with his headline “Sunak Leaves Johnson in Limbo” and focuses on the British Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak’s half-hearted support for the disgraced Prime Minister.

On the front page of the daily, columnist Juliet Samuel comments sharply: “Boris Johnson’s apology for attending a Downing Street party during lockdown in May 2020 may have bought him some time. But whether it saved his political career is anyone’s guess questionable. Support from his own backbench in the House of Commons was muted, suggesting Tory MPs are now seriously questioning whether he will survive the outcome of an independent inquiry into events (…).”

Contrary to the rather critical reports at the beginning of the week, the “Daily Mail” softer tones and the title “Operation Rettet Boris”. Only the “lukewarm support of Rishi” could mean trouble, writes the conservative newspaper.

On the other hand, he finds clear words “DailyRecord”. Its bold headline “Cock and Bull Tory” means something like “robber gun Tory” – and that too “National” does not hold back and simply headlines “liar”.

Even the high-circulation tabloid “Metro” challenges PM’s apology with “Sorry…not sorry” headline – der “Star” goes one better and headlines “Rules are only for simple people!”

Boris Johnson’s future remains uncertain. The prime minister has not yet expressly ruled out resignation. However, he asked to await the outcome of an ongoing internal inquiry into several suspected Downing Street lockdown parties. For Parliament to be able to vote on Johnson’s future, 15 percent of the 360 ​​Conservative MPs must express their no confidence in the prime minister. Officially, however, he is still a long way from that.

The prime minister did not have to face any new questions from the media on Thursday. Because a family member tested positive for Corona, Johnson canceled a planned visit to a vaccination center.

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