Should I stay or should I go now?

By David Irvine

(Getty Images)

With the current scandal sizzling amongst the Westminster halls, how does Boris save himself this time? Whilst many people within the United Kingdom abided by the Covid lockdown measures, Boris and his cabinet were busy having booze fests at Westminster like they were at the Bullington club doing what they wanted, regardless of the consequences. The anger is real this time with the public, as he told the house many times, no parties took place, but many parties did take place with Michael Gove admitting to buying a mini refrigerator to store the wine to refuel his colleagues for parting to the disco lights in the basement of Westminster.

Boris repeatedly told the house that he did not know he was at a party and if it were a party, he did not know it was one. it would be dealt with by the authorities. And sure, enough the authorities have. The metropolitan police fined Boris for breaking the law he legislated for. The first serving prime minister in the history of the UK to break the law. But that is not what is getting people rattled, it is the sheer brazenness of not resigning like many others have since breaking the law during Covid. If it were anybody else in their job, they would have lost their job for putting other people’s lives at risk during a pandemic that none of us imagined how big it was going to be.

At a time when loved ones could not visit their dying family members, the man who made the rules was busy breaking them and flaunting social distancing rules. Once again, the class divide is real, one rule for the elite and one rule for the rest of us. Due to the demand of opposing benches and the public, a report into these shenanigans is soon to be published by Sue Gray, a person who the prime minister employs. Already sceptics are critical of the report, will it be published in full or will it be edited to suit Boris and co? Time will tell.

Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, has used his speech in the debate to call for Boris Johnson to go. He said:

“The prime minister now should be long gone … Really, the prime minister should just know the gig’s up”.

When Boris was ordered to attend a meeting at the 1922 Committee, MP for Workington Mark Jenkinson says the prime minister was in his “usual ebullient mood” when he met with them and offered an apology to Parliament for his lockdown breaches. The Conservative party’s polling does not look too good either, though party sources think on balance Johnson is still more of an electoral asset than a problem. They are aware that this could change if Johnson is issued with another fine by police or more details appear from the “Partygate” scandal.

There is no clear timeline of when such an investigation into Johnson’s conduct would take place. The mere fact of it happening, however, will provide opposition parties with ammunition going into the local elections set to take place in just a few weeks — at which voters will have the opportunity to send a message of fury to Downing Street. However, for the time being, Johnson remains in his job, unwilling to resign and no one is strong enough to force him out. It is frustrating for those who want him gone, but the politics simply make it practically impossible to get rid of Johnson in the immediate future.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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