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7 Feb, 2022 14:09

Johnson says it would require a tank division to oust him – media

The British prime minister stands defiant against Tory rebels, who want a vote of no confidence over the Partygate scandal
Johnson says it would require a tank division to oust him – media

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has assured his fellow Tory party members that he will fight tooth and nail to keep his current post in his hands. “He's making [it] very clear that they'll have to send a Panzer division to get him out of there,” a senior adviser cited by The Times on Saturday said of the PM’s attitude towards the ongoing rebellion in the Conservative party. Meanwhile, his opponents want to hold a vote of no confidence in Parliament and oust the embattled leader of the government.

The rebels require support from at least 54 MPs, who would send formal letters to the chair of the 1922 Committee – the parliamentary body of the Conservative party – through which a no-confidence vote would have to be called. According to insiders, at least 35 Tory legislators have done so, and people pessimistic about Johnson’s future at the helm of the country believe the number may be over 50, the newspaper said.

There are lingering suspicions that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who has been publicly defending Johnson, may be plotting behind his back, the report added. Those who suspect him of disloyalty have been calling for his dismissal.

Johnson came under fire after allegations that top Conservative party officials, including himself, flouted Covid-19 restrictions and hosted parties at Downing Street, while telling the rest of the country to make sacrifices to keep the pandemic at bay. Johnson denied personal wrongdoing, saying he learned a valuable lesson about running the government and promised to “fix it.” The prime minister’s team lost five senior aides last week over the so-called Partygate scandal and is in the process of an overhaul.

The Times said the situation may have strained the prime minister’s personal life too. Its sources claimed that Carrie Johnson “privately voiced the view that it might be better if” her husband were to quit.

If true, it would be welcomed by people who believe that Mrs. Johnson has too much sway over the political life of the party and the country. Boris Johnson’s former aide-turned-critic Dominic Cummings has been a particularly loud accuser of Carrie Johnson, targeting her on his blog and Twitter account.