Displaying items by tag: Boris Johnson
On 25 May Sue Gray’s report on the behaviour of' Downing Street staff during lockdown was published. The senior civil servant, who described how staff partied while the rest of the country was in lockdown, said many events 'should not have been allowed', and that the PM and his officials 'must bear responsibility for this culture'. Warnings about parties breaking Covid rules were ignored, the report says. Boris Johnson told MPs he took 'full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch'. He said he had been 'humbled by the whole experience' and had learned lessons.' Sue Gray said she learned of multiple examples of 'unacceptable' treatment of security and cleaning staff during her partygate investigation. Mr Johnson’s remarks are also being scrutinised by the Commons privileges committee, which must decide whether he knowingly misled Parliament, particularly when he categorically denied knowledge of rule-breaking parties. If he is found to have knowingly misled parliament, he would be in breach of the ministerial code and would in theory be expected to resign.
Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, has warned Boris Johnson against any move to change the Northern Ireland protocol. He said, ‘What we can’t do is accept that the British government would act unilaterally, they would pass legislation to effectively breach international law, to set aside elements of a treaty that this prime minister designed and put in place. That would cause more problems than it would solve.’ Foreign minister Liz Truss, announcing a new law to change the post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland, insisted it would be legal under international law. She said the proposed legislation would make changes to the deal - rather than scrapping it - to resolve ‘the grave situation in Northern Ireland’. But in response, the EU said it would ‘need to respond with all measures at its disposal’ if the UK went ahead with the legislation. Pray that all decisions will be according to God’s plans.
Boris Johnson has said the British embassy in Kyiv will open its doors again, after its closure shortly before Russia's invasion. He also said it was sadly a ‘realistic possibility’ when asked if he agreed with intelligence that the Russian bombardment could continue to the end of next year, ending with Russian victory. He said, ‘Putin has a huge army with a very difficult political position because he has made a catastrophic blunder. His only option, really, is to continue to use his appalling, grinding approach driven by artillery, trying to grind the Ukrainians down. No matter what military superiority he may be able to bring to bear in the next few months, he will not be able to conquer the spirit of the Ukrainian people.’
Addressing MPs after Easter and for the first time since being fined for breaking Covid laws, Boris Johnson apologised for his ‘mistake’ 35 times. He said he had not realised he was breaking the rules but he accepted the police's decisions. MPs want to vote on a Labour plan for a Commons committee to investigate his past comments about Whitehall gatherings, but ministers now want the vote to wait until probes by the police and Sue Gray have finished. A delay in this decision will not remove the threat of a censure motion - which allows MPs to criticise government policy, an individual minister, or the government as a whole. Any MP can table one, and it only takes a simple majority to pass. If it passes, it would not force Johnson to do anything but would put him under far greater political pressure. See also
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a ‘catastrophe for our continent’, said Boris Johnson. He chaired an emergency Cobra meeting on 24 February and gave a televised statement after Russian forces launched an assault on Ukraine, crossing its borders and bombing military targets near big cities. He outlined new sanctions against Russia in the Commons and said on Twitter that he would also speak to his fellow G7 leaders. He called for an urgent meeting of all NATO leaders as soon as possible. In a phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr Johnson vowed the West ‘would not stand by as Putin waged his campaign against the Ukrainian people’ and tweeted earlier, ‘Putin has chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction by launching this unprovoked attack on Ukraine.’ Foreign secretary Liz Truss has demanded that the Russian ambassador explain Russia's ‘illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine’.
On 10 February Boris Johnson met the head of the NATO defence alliance in Brussels and then travelled to Poland in support of NATO allies. He warned that the Ukraine-Russia crisis is at its ‘most dangerous moment’ and that war would be an ‘absolute disaster’. Russia is still massing troops on its neighbour's borders and in Belarus. In Moscow Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, said that continued ‘aggression’ will lead to ‘severe consequences’, but at the same news conference her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov accused the West of ‘hysteria’. Moscow wants the West to rule out Ukraine ever joining NATO - but Boris Johnson said that every European democracy must retain that right. Johnson warned that the possibility of an invasion ‘remains grim.’
‘It is my intention to return on the first day after the half-term recess to present our strategy for living with Covid’, Boris Johnson has said. ‘Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions - including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive - a full month early.’ The law will be replaced with guidance; for example, people will be urged not to go to work if they have Covid. The PM added, ‘The self-isolation regulations expire on 24 March, at which point I very much expect not to renew them. Indeed, were the data to allow, I would like to seek a vote in this House to bring that date forwards’ Downing Street also suggested there could be an update on the remaining travel rules when Mr Johnson sets out his ‘living with Covid strategy’ later this month.
About thirty people including Boris Johnson attended a ‘bring-your-own-drink’ party in Downing Street’s garden during the first lockdown. The gathering - and others that had happened under Covid restrictions - are now subject to an independent enquiry by Sue Grey. Because of the way he handled recent events and evaded probing questions before admitting attending the drinks party, the PM has damaged public confidence in him. He now faces calls to resign from Labour and some senior Tories. Conservative MP William Wragg said there is a carelessness among people in government over standards and possibly more than that. The inquiry could make or break Johnson’s premiership as his government descends into open warfare as he defied Scottish and English Tory politicians. He survived probably the worst day in his political career without Cabinet resignations, a leadership challenge, or a confidence vote among MPs.
Last month the head teachers’ association confirmed many schools were moving their nativity plays online due to Covid concerns. But recently Boris Johnson said the move to Plan B Covid restrictions does not mean schools and churches should cancel nativity plays. He said, ‘We don’t want kids to be taken out of school before the end of term, we don’t want nativity plays to be cancelled. We think that it is OK to keep going with Christmas parties, but everybody should exercise due caution, have ventilation, wash your hands, get a test before you go - give everybody else confidence they are going to be meeting somebody who is not contagious.’
Boris Johnson won the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher. His popularity among Conservative MPs marked the end of Tory Brexit rebellions. Now many believe his popularity and authority is waning. When the Commons voted on new Covid regulations on 14 December, Boris was forced to rely on opposition votes to get his plans through. The Conservative party has become rebellious toward their leader. Pray for God to break the stronghold of rebellion in politics. Pray for Boris to make wise decisions that are heaven-sent, uniting the government and meeting the needs of the nation as it faces Omicron. The chancellor has raised concerns about the medium-term costs of handling the pandemic in a ‘Covid O’ meeting of senior ministers this week. Several billion pounds have been allocated to cover vaccines, boosters, and therapeutic drugs costs until April. Ask God to give prudent strategies to the chancellor which cover unforeseen Covid costs while avoiding raising taxes.