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Boris Johnson’s hopes for a comeback must now be dashed | Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s hopes for a comeback must now be dashed |  Boris Johnson


When Boris Johnson sat down to write his resignation statement after learning the privileges committee had concluded he had lied to MPs about Partygate, he was determined to leave a clear message to his haters on both sides of the House of the municipalities.

It is very sad to leave Parliament, he writes. At least for now That he still harbors hope of a comeback despite the damage he has done to his own reputation, the mark of the Conservative Party and the country more broadly should come as no surprise to anyone.

Since announcing in July 2022 that he was stepping down as Prime Minister, Johnson has made no secret of the fact that he feels he has done nothing wrong and has therefore been treated unfairly . I am baffled and appalled that I could be expelled, he said.

Yet despite much speculation about the outcome of the privileges committee’s investigation, few expected Johnson to move so quickly.

It’s likely he did so by taking Westminster by surprise on a day when his resignation honors list had already dominated the news so he could walk on his own terms, rather than be kicked out by deputies or, even worse, his own. constituents.

Friends say Johnson, for all his confidence and bravado in public, wanted one thing above all else, the warm embrace of popularity. Already a divisive figure after Brexit, his actions since Partygate have slowly eroded the support he once enjoyed.

Last month, polling expert Professor John Curtice said if it hadn’t been for Partygate Johnson would likely still be Prime Minister and predicted it could yet end his career as an ordinary MP .

Johnson continues to have his admirers in the ranks of Tory voters, with a Savanta poll in May showing 64% still think favorably of the former prime minister, and just 19% against.

But the man who in 2019 persuaded thousands of former Labor voters to back the Tories for the first time, winning a whopping 80-seat majority, now has little appeal outside the ranks of the Tory stalwarts.

The 33 hours that brought down Boris Johnson in three minutes

The same Savanta poll found that less than one in five Labor and Liberal Democrat supporters were willing to give Johnson credit, and just 5% said they would be happy to see him back to No 10.

Confidence or lack thereof was key. Poll after poll showed voters did not believe former Prime Ministers’ account of social gatherings in Downing Street during the Covid pandemic. His claims that the privileges committee had failed to produce any evidence fell on the ears of those who listened to his account.

Many Tory MPs felt the committee would conclude that Johnson had recklessly misled the Commons. But some allies had hoped for the committees’ decision to disregard his recent police referrals for new alleged breaches of the lockdown, ignoring the fact that they fell outside his original mission.

Those who know Johnson best suggest he has such a warped relationship with the truth that he sincerely believes he’s being honest in the moment, even when he’s not.

He reflected this in his resignation letter: When I spoke in the Commons, I was saying what I sincerely believed to be true. But that was not an excuse the Privileges Committee could accept.

Rishi Sunak will likely breathe a sigh of relief that Johnson is now one step away from any sort of future comeback. Each time the Prime Minister has tried to drag his party out of the Johnson era, he has been dragged into yet more drama.

But there is no indication that his predecessor plans to leave quietly, and there is every indication that he will continue to throw political hand grenades from behind the scenes, even as he travels the world earning millions from his speaking engagements.

Johnson has already fired at Sunak, telling him the party urgently needs to regain momentum, make the most of Brexit, cut corporate and personal taxes, push for a free trade deal with the US and, in essence, not being afraid to be a truly conservative government.

The former prime minister has long relished comparisons to his historic and political hero, Winston Churchill, who won re-election in 1951 despite losing the 1945 election, and served as prime minister for another four years.

But despite his reputation for staging gravity-defying political comebacks, Tory MPs and others across Westminster genuinely believe it’s over for Boris Johnson this time.




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