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BBC documentary reveals government officials wanted Queen to address Boris Johnson's conduct

BBC documentary reveals government officials wanted Queen to address Boris Johnson's conduct

 


Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Boris Johnson during an audience where she invites him to become Prime Minister and form a new government at Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019.

Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Boris Johnson during an audience where she invites him to become Prime Minister and form a new government at Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019.

Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Boris Johnson during an audience where she invites him to become Prime Minister and form a new government at Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019.

Senior government officials called Buckingham Palace with the aim of obtaining the Queen to address their concerns regarding Boris Johnson leadership, according to a documentary.

In Laura Kuenssberg: State of chaos, the journalist looks back on the six tumultuous years of British politics between 2016, the date of the European referendum, and the end of 2022, the date on which Liz Truss resigned.

Sources told Kuenssberg that senior government officials were extremely concerned about Johnson's conduct in May 2020, at the height of the pandemic.

A source claimed that relations between his political team and the civil service broke down around this time, with the then chief of staff. Dominic Cummings often clashing with the head of the civil service, Sir Mark Sedwill.

That's why some officials took the extraordinary step of calling on the castle, according to Kuenssberg.

They reportedly raised their concerns with palace officials, so the queen could raise them during her weekly private audiences with Johnson.

The BBC noted that there had been a slight increase in phone calls and communications between Downing Street and the palace during this period compared to their normal level of exchange.

However, former deputy cabinet secretary Helen MacNamara refused to elaborate on the implications of those conversations, saying she would get in trouble.

She told Kuenssberg: There were certainly times after the Prime Minister returned from his illness [when he was hospitalised for Covid] when the perception within the Number 10 political team of the failures of the system, the failures of the civil service and the failures of the institution was so extreme, and the way they expressed that, they were Absolutely, shatters everything , stop, start again [mode].

We were systematically in great difficulty.

A source also told the program that Johnson needed to be reminded of the constitution.

The BBC said the palace declined to comment on the story, while Johnson's team said Number 10's actions were still in line with the constitution and no member of the royal family had spoken out. of his own concerns.

This incident occurred a year after the Johnson government requested that the Commons remain closed or extended for five weeks before the Brexit deadline in 2019.

Critics claimed this meant MPs could not examine his Brexit plans.

The prorogation was technically carried out by the Queen, although as a constitutional monarch she is usually responsible for simply following what the government asks her to do.

The Supreme Court then ruled extension had broken the law.

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