Boris Johnson apology: Replacements ‘are worse’ says pundit
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Boris Johnson, 57, squirmed through Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday after he tried to apologise for the Downing Street lockdown party scandal. However, a new opinion poll has found the debacle has given Sir Keir Starmer, 59, a clear path to power if an election was held today.
The Labour leader, who trailed Mr Johnson for much of his time as the successor to 72-year-old Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, could return some 326 MPs to the Commons if the most recent YouGov opinion poll was emulated at the ballot box.
YouGov’s survey suggested Labour had increased their support by one point to 38 percent but the Tories were down by 5 percent, leaving them with the backing of just 28 percent of voters.
Labour’s 10-point lead is the largest the party had recorded in the opinion polls since December 2013.
In a damning assessment of recent opinion polls, Brexit-backing journalist Rod Liddle, 61, called on Mr Johnson to go.
Speaking to GB News, he said: “I think he’s lost any vestige of moral authority and the worst of all for Boris Johnson is that he is miles and miles behind in the polls and the only point of Boris Johnson was to be higher in the polls.
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“That’s the only reason he is the leader of the Conservative Party.”
The UK’s largest polling aggregator Britain Elects found the Conservatives could lose some 150 MPs if Labour held this double-digit lead come election day.
But the Liberal Democrats, who increased their vote share by three points to 13 percent, could also benefit from ‘partygate’.
Sir Ed Davey, 56, who has taken two major scalps in the ‘Blue Wall’ with victory at Chesham & Amersham and North Shropshire, could increase his Commons contingent from just 13 to 32.
YouGov’s opinion poll comes just hours after Mr Johnson faced calls from inside and outside the Conservative Party to resign.
Scottish Tories, who Britain Elects suggest could be wiped out based on current polling, have led the charge against the Prime Minister.
Moray MP and Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross, 38, called on Mr Johnson to go and revealed after having a “difficult conversation” with the Prime Minister on Wednesday he would write a letter of no confidence to the 1922 Committee.
According to BBC Newsnight, all 31 Scottish MSPs have rallied behind their leader in Holyrood in believing Mr Johnson should quit.
However, for Mr Johnson to face a leadership challenge, 54 MPs would need to hand letters into the Tories’ backbench committee.
Veteran North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, 78, confirmed he has also handed a letter in to 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady, 54.
Other MPs, including 34 year-old William Wragg and 49 year-old Caroline Noakes, indicated they backed Mr Johnson leaving Downing Street.
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After a challenging end to 2021, the Prime Minister issued an apology for a ‘bring your own booze’ lockdown party held in May 2020.
Speaking at the despatch box during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson told the Commons: “I want to apologise.
“I know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months.
“I know the anguish they have been through, unable to mourn their relatives, unable to live their lives as they want or to do things they love.
“I know the rage they feel with me and with the Government I lead when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.
“And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know that there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility.”
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