Tory MPs are increasingly concerned about Boris Johnson’s skill and drive after he gave a rambling speech to business leaders and was accused of losing his grip on a series key policies ranging from social protection to rail.
Senior members of his own party have said they need Johnson to get the government back on track after two disastrous weeks amid dismay over his performance at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference , where he lost his place in his speech for about 20 seconds. and turned into a long tangent about Peppa Pig.
The Prime Minister also faced substantial rebellion against his welfare proposals, anger over the decision to cut rail improvements for the north and frustration over the government’s failure to keep its small boat promises. crossing the English Channel. It crowns a tough fortnight for the Prime Minister after admitting to crashing the car into a ditch in his handling of the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal.
Nervousness among Tory MPs over No 10 escalated after a Downing Street source told the BBC there was a lot of concern inside the building over the Prime Minister, this just wasn’t working, adding that the cabinet had to wake up and demand some serious changes or else it would just keep getting worse. .
A former cabinet minister also told The Guardian that there was an accumulation of things piling up, really related to his competence and starting to look very shaky after a pretty bad bloody fortnight. He said it was unlikely to result in a leadership challenge when the polls were still fairly even between Tories and Labor, but it could be problematic for him if that changes as an election draws near.
Another backbench MP said Johnsons CBI’s speech was a mess while a third Tory MP said: I thought today’s performance was the most embarrassing of a Tory PM since the PMQs of last week. Someone needs to have a hold. He loses the confidence of the party.
Another Tory MP referred to the process by which MPs can submit letters of no confidence to 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady, saying: we need a bigger one too.
The Prime Minister’s speech on Monday met with icy reception among business leaders due to its lack of substantive policy. In a sprawling speech, Johnson lost his place and spent 20 seconds forgiving me three times as he shuffled the printed pages on his podium.
He then revealed he spent Sunday traveling through the Hampshires Peppa Pig’s world an amusement park dedicated to a cartoon character for children using it for a series of digs at the BBC and officials. He said the $ 6 billion TV show was rejected by the BBC and has now been exported to 180 countries. He added: I think that’s pure genius, isn’t it? No government in the world, no Whitehall official would have imagined Peppa.
Johnson also mimicked the sound of a speeding car with growls that the official Downing Street version transcribed in arum arum aaaaaaaaag. At another point, he compared himself to Moïse for his plan to help businesses invest in the fight against climate change. The Prime Minister said: I told my officials that the new Ten Commandments are that you will develop industries like offshore wind, hydrogen, nuclear power and carbon capture.
After the speech, business leaders questioned the direction of the prime ministers. Mike Cherry, national president of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: Last week, the announcement of HS2 left many small business owners wondering if the government was already straying, not just in speech, but with regard to leveling up. .
After the speech, a reporter asked Johnson if he was okay. The PM defended his performance by saying: I think people got the vast majority of the points I wanted to make, and I thought it went well.
On Monday evening, a dozen Conservative MPs from the 2019 intake gathered broodingly in one of their parliamentary offices to share a bottle of whiskey. They were said to be disappointed and disillusioned, and shared the displeasure that Johnson was not listening to comments.
Like business leaders, the main concern of Tory politicians was Johnson’s inability to meet expectations on policies such as the race to the top, railroads and social services. Up to 20 Conservative MPs were expected to rebel against changes to the social services ceiling Monday night.
Shortly after Johnson’s speech, Keir Starmer introduced business leaders to what he called Labor’s pro-business agenda, including closer trade and regulatory ties with the EU. I think sometimes, if I may say so, our party seems to think that business should be tolerated in one way or another, but should not be celebrated as a good in itself, the leader said. Labor at another multi-site CBI conference, this one in Birmingham. This mindset has changed under my leadership.
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