Carrying on with Boris Johnson a 'gamble' says Edwina Currie
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The Prime Minister’s staying-power has been under question almost every week since the outbreak of what was dubbed ‘Partygate’. Following yesterday’s resignation of both Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, formerly two of Mr Johnson’s closest allies, pundits are now sure that he will go (though some of them not for the first time).
Spiked Online Editor Tom Slater insisted that this was no bad thing, arguing that the PM has been “dreadful” for the “populist spirit”.
He wrote that beyond Brexit, the Government “is all too similar to its predecessors”.
This has seen it become “consumed by petty political battles because it has no principles or programme to fall back on”, beyond holding on to power, and unable, if not unwilling to post a threat to the “woke neoliberal status quo”, he writes.
On matters including carbon net zero, Mr Slater said the Mr Johnson “has bobbed back towards establishment orthodoxy”.
He wrote: “Boris Johnson has proven himself a perfectly dreadful vessel for that populist spirit.
“Populism was always bigger than Boris Johnson. That’s why he has got to go.
“And that’s why those hoping populism will shuffle off the stage with him are in for a rude awakening.”
The writer did suggest that the Prime Minister had been successful in carrying out Brexit (“albeit in imperfect form”).
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But he argued this was no longer enough, and that other commitments to the voting public had been cast aside.
In his resignation letter, Mr Sunak also praised Mr Johnson that “under your leadership we broke the Brexit deadlock”.
Noting that that of Chancellor would likely be his last ministerial job, he added: “However, the public rightly expect Government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.”
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Mr Javid said almost exactly the same on the Prime Minister’s Brexit record.
Besides this, he told Mr Johnson he had “last my confidence” in his leadership and that it was time for a change at the top.
Since the resignations, Nadhim Zahawi has been appointed Chancellor and Steve Barclay the Health Secretary.
But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was clear “this Tory Government is now collapsing”.
Mr Slater highlighted that the Remain establishment will be only too pleased about Mr Johnson’s probable downfall but that this should not put small-c conservatives off the idea of new leadership.
He stressed that “enough is enough”, though did not point towards who he believes to be a suitable replacement.
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