The British prime minister is being questioned by his party and government after it emerged that he had nominated a Conservative MP for the post despite allegations of inappropriate behavior.
A new scandal has shaken the Boris Johnson government.
The British Prime Minister is in a crisis with unpredictable consequences, which began with a sex scandal involving Conservative MP Chris Pincher close to Johnson.
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At least 41 government officials resigned or were dismissed on Wednesday, including Treasury Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid. Two strong names in the administration, a fact that weakens Johnson’s position.
Sunak argued that citizens expect the government to be run “appropriately, competently and seriously”. Javid explained that the government “did not act in the national interest”.
The layoffs have rekindled expectations that the British prime minister may fall.
Michael Gove, a senior cabinet member, urged the prime minister to step down as layoffs escalated, and other members of the government, including some of Johnson’s closest allies, are expected to do the same, according to information obtained by the BBC.
Johnson, who has become Britain’s most resigned leader since 1932, has stressed that he will not resign and is open to questioning in parliament.
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These events came less than a month after the prime minister faced a vote of no confidence in which 41% of MPs from his own party voted against him.
The attempt to impeach him came as a result of photos and evidence of meetings and celebrations held at government headquarters while the rest of the country was imprisoned due to restrictions imposed by Johnson’s own government during the COVID-19 pandemic19.
The BBC then answers key questions about the new crisis.
1. How did the crisis begin?
British newspaper on 30 June Sun Posted Chris Pincher, then assistant chief whip From the Conservative Party bench in Parliament, he groped at two men at a private club in London.
assistant manager whip It is a task in the British political system that is responsible for ensuring that party parliamentarians vote under the guidance of their leaders.
- New allegations against Conservative MP in England accused of harassing men
Pincher, who was appointed to the role by Johnson in February of this year, immediately resigned.
Within days, British media reported on at least six other cases of Pincher’s alleged sexual harassment in recent years.
Suspended by the Conservative Party, Pincher apologized and said he would cooperate fully with investigations into his conduct and sought “professional medical support”.
2. Why is Boris Johnson involved?
While the British prime minister has not been involved in these sexual harassment allegations, the scandal leaves Pincher in a difficult position as the prime minister’s decision on the matter and how the government has handled the case transparently are questioned.
On July 1, the government told the media that it was not aware of any allegations against Johnson before he was appointed to Pincher.
A spokesperson said the prime minister was not aware of “specific allegations” about Pincher.
This was the same position held by several cabinet members in the days that followed.
However, on July 4, the spokesperson said that Johnson was aware of “arguments that have not been resolved or have gone to the complaint stage” and that it was deemed inappropriate to stop Pincher’s appointment due to “baseless allegations”.
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But that same afternoon, the BBC announced that Johnson was informed of an official complaint about Pincher’s “inappropriate behavior” while working at the State Department between 2019 and 2020.
This complaint led to disciplinary action, which confirmed that inappropriate behavior took place.
In a later interview with the BBC, Johnson said: “There was one complaint that particularly caught my attention… It was a long time ago and it came to me verbally. But that’s not an excuse, I had to act on it.”
The Prime Minister called the naming of Pincher a “mistake”, which he said had behaved “very, very badly”, and Johnson apologized to those affected.
3. Why is the Prime Minister in a sensitive situation?
“It’s all about one thing: the truth,” says BBC Policy editor Chris Mason, analyzing the ongoing crisis in the British government.
“Whatever the details and the accusations, it all depends on whether people believe what Johnson says,” he adds.
And the government’s response to the Pincher scandal was gradually changing as other elements emerged, as it supposedly did during the scandal. party doorCase involving meetings held at government headquarters during his coronavirus incarceration, where Johnson was proven to have attended some of these social gatherings.
“The questions are about what Boris Johnson knew and when he did know,” Manson says. And the answers keep changing in response to troubling facts that often show that his previous defense wasn’t as sincere as it could have been.
- Boris Johnson ‘survived’ a no-confidence vote that could impeach him
4. What can happen now?
In theory, Boris Johnson, who survived a no-confidence vote just a month ago, is protected from another such attempt for a year.
This is determined by the current rules of the 1922 Committee, a group that brought together MPs from the British Conservative Party. This indicates that this is the time it takes before the party leader can be questioned again.
However, Johnson’s critics now want the leadership of this committee to change that rule to try to control him and allow for new action.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, one of Johnson’s most critical, told Sky News he hopes the new council will favor changing that rule.
When asked by the BBC of the feasibility of such a change in regulations, Graham Brady, current chairman of the 1922 Committee, said it was “technically possible”.
Johnson received 211 votes in favor and 148 against in the vote a month ago.
But his political situation has deteriorated in recent days, first with the Pincher scandal and now with the resignations of his government.
Another mechanism that could lead to Johnson’s departure is the convening of a no-confidence motion in Parliament, in which MPs from all parties can participate.
This initiative has already been proposed by the Liberal Democrats, but for it to be successful it will need to be promoted by the Labor Party and the government will have to agree to its inclusion on the Legislative agenda.
It’s also possible that the resignations continue within the cabinet, increasing political pressure for Johnson to resign.
But there are several ministers who have already confirmed support for Johnson. These include Culture Minister Nadine Dorries, Interior Minister Priti Patel and Brexit Opportunity Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Finally, while analysts agree that time is running out, there is a possibility that the British prime minister may weather the storm as in previous crises.
‘The End of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister Looks Near’
Analysis by BBC Policy Editor Chris Mason
Sometimes the policy is subtle. Today was not one of those days.
As the prime minister sat in the press booth answering MPs’ questions, you could feel and hear Boris Johnson’s authority running out.
In Westminster, tribalism is measured in decibels, and the Conservative party was almost silent. Voice came from the opposition ranks in the toughest session for Boris Johnson since he won the election.
Letters of resignation and disbelief piled up that afternoon, and even those most loyal to Johnson acknowledged privately, but also openly and in detail, that the game was over.
“Is it the last?” I asked a minister. “I’m afraid so. It’s a matter of hours and days,” he replied.
Then, one after another, several ministers sent me messages saying they would see Johnson tonight and openly tell him that he must resign.
The end of Boris Johnson as prime minister seems imminent.
– Text originally published at http://bbc.co.uk/portuguese/internacional-62071142
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