Source: official account: Xiake island wechat id:xiake_ island
The “British trump”, who led Britain’s brexit in the past, finally announced his resignation as the head of the Conservative Party under the pressure of a “wave of resignations” of dozens of cabinet officials after experiencing the “party scandal”, the Conservative Party’s election defeat, and shielding the “salty pig hand” deputy leader.
On July 7, Johnson’s resignation speech appeared unwilling at the prime minister’s residence at No. 10 Downing Street. He said, “in the face of the increasingly difficult economic situation at home and abroad, it is rash to change the government”, and he “had to leave” driven by the “group instinct” of the parliament. But Johnson will remain prime minister until the Conservative Party elects a new leader.
On July 7 local time, Johnson delivered his resignation speech in front of the prime minister’s residence at No. 10 Downing Street and left. Source: Xinhua News Agency
Johnson’s “abdication” road can be divided into these steps:
The first step was the “party gate” scandal last year. During the epidemic, British people were required to abide by the social distance limit, but prime minister Johnson was fined by the London police department for holding a party at the prime minister’s office in violation of the rules. This made him the first prime minister in British history to violate the law during his tenure.
The British “party gate” investigation report exposed photos of illegal gatherings during the prime minister’s epidemic. Source: foreign media
This has brought a lot of pressure to Johnson, and some people within the opposition and the Conservative Party have asked him to resign. Although Johnson narrowly survived the Conservative Party’s “vote of no confidence” against him a month ago and was able to remain as the head of the Conservative Party and the British Prime Minister, 40% of the members of the Party voted no confidence for him.
The second step is to lose the conservative parliamentary election. The “party gate” scandal has not cleared up, and the Conservative Party has been frustrated in local elections in May and by elections in the lower house of Parliament in June. Oliverdoden, the then chairman of the conservative party, resigned, and the party’s call for Johnson to step down was further intensified.
The third step is the sexual harassment scandal of deputy whip Christopher pincher. The senior party official appointed by Johnson himself molested two men after being drunk and was also exposed to sexually harass male lawmakers for many times. You know, the duty of the “party whip” is to maintain party discipline, and Johnson, knowing pingche’s misconduct, let him serve as the deputy party whip, which is really an oversight of employment.
The Financial Times said, “people outside the UK may be confused by the seemingly insignificant allegations against the prime minister, but a series of events have shown his reckless disregard for the rules and the truth.”
On the afternoon of July 5, Johnson apologized for “improper employment”, but it was too late. Since the 5th, health minister Javed and finance minister lisunak have fired their first shots of resignation, and more than 50 cabinet officials have resigned. Originally, Johnson also made a strong statement that he would not resign and would “continue to fight”, but the development of the situation obviously exceeded his expectations.
“The game is over” – such a headline was used on the front page of the times.
Review article on the front page of the times: end of the game
Xu Ruike, an associate professor of the British research center of Beijing Foreign Studies University, said that the Conservative Party cares very much about the quality of leaders. Johnson covered up the vice whip in the sexual assault scandal, which involves personal quality issues and private morality. In addition, Johnson has lost his leadership in persuading the public because of the vote of no confidence in the “party gate”, the superposition of scandals, the resignation of officials, and the failure of the government to function normally.
Xu Ruike said that Johnson had the possibility of staying in office, but the opportunity was slim. He can exercise the power of the prime minister and order an early general election (the British Parliament will hold the next general election in 2024), so as to “shuffle”, but the early general election must be approved by the queen, which will involve the queen in controversy and damage her authority and public image.
In any case, once the ruling party is exposed to scandals and labeled as untrustworthy, it is inevitable to lose the support of the people. For example, in the 1960s, Profumo, then British war minister, had a promising future, but he fell into an extramarital affair, and the lover of the object of the extramarital affair was still a Soviet spy. Profumo lied to the house of Commons, and finally failed, and Profumo resigned. A month later, then Prime Minister Macmillan also resigned because of the scandal. Within a year, the Labor Party defeated the Conservative Party in the national election.
Now, Johnson, who does not match Germany, has no choice.
“If there is a moment when Britain needs a capable and trustworthy leader, it is now.” On July 7, the Financial Times wrote in an editorial entitled “Johnson must step down”.
Some analysts also believe that forcing Johnson to abdicate is a move of the conservative party to “abandon the car and protect the commander-in-chief”. Only by attributing the bad state of British economy and politics to Johnson and removing the “negative assets”, can the Conservative Party recover its negative image in recent years and consolidate its ruling position.
At present, British inflation is high, the pound is falling, the economy is in recession, and the cost of living is soaring. In a few months, the heating season is coming, but since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Britain took the lead in joining sanctions against Russia, and the subsequent oil and gas supply may still be unsolved. Last winter, some people in Britain responded to the government’s call to “tighten their belts” and even went to charities to eat, just to save gas bills at home; In autumn and winter this year, if the heating bill is still high and the government is not responsible, I’m afraid that the people’s complaints will boil and further impact the ruling position of the conservative party.
Recently, the Conservative Party candidates lost both by elections in the British House of Commons. After the previous disastrous defeat in the British local council election, the conservative party was hit hard again. At that time, there were only two people in the party who could be pushed back: Prime Minister Johnson and former finance minister sunak. With this background, coupled with Johnson’s long-term Maverick and unconventional style of playing cards, it is not surprising that cabinet officials have resigned in a flood of “betrayal”.
In this sense, sunak’s resignation from office on July 5 is actually killing two birds with one stone: it not only protects himself to a certain extent, but also drives this “palace siege”, completely pushing Johnson to the opposite of most conservatives.
On July 6 local time, Johnson accepted a question in the lower house of Parliament and rejected the resignation request made by the congressman. Source: surging image
Who will be the successor after Johnson resigned?
At present, sunak is the candidate with high voice for the succession of the leader of the conservative party, and the British media believe that he has “low odds”. However, his slow response to inflation, personal luxury and even Indian identity may weaken the competitiveness of winning the top position. According to a poll released by the British analysis company YouGov on July 6, Wallace, the current defense secretary, is most likely to become the next leader of the conservative party.
(source: YouGov official website)
In this situation, the conservative party is likely to fall into infighting.
Johnson’s abdication is certain. What will happen in British politics? Are the political and economic problems facing Johnson that can be solved after he steps down?
Reuters column said that behind the government’s “rebel farce”, there are deeper national differences, and the expulsion of Johnson will only highlight contradictions. After brexit, Britain has many basic problems and disputes that have not been resolved, and the measures introduced by the government have many contradictions: the British government pursues both state intervention and free trade; While talking about tax cuts, it raised the fiscal burden to the highest share of GDP since the 1950s; While advocating the relaxation of financial regulation, it also extended the hand of power to intervene in enterprise acquisitions
The Bank of England predicts that the inflation rate in the UK will reach 11% by the end of this year, and the high energy costs will squeeze the real household income in the UK for the second time in nearly 60 years. Johnson’s successors will also face a series of thorny problems, including public debt, high energy costs, the Northern Ireland protocol, etc.
Johnson’s election victory in 2019 is largely due to his ability to persuade people on both sides of the debate. But his successor will find that over the past three years, the chronic disease of Britain’s development has become more serious and difficult to solve.
Wen / Yun Ge
Edit / Aya Bo
(special thanks: providing first-line observation in the British Island)