Newspaper La Jornada
Friday, January 21, 2022, p. 24

London. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who the day before yesterday seemed to have his days numbered due to the anger caused in his Conservative Party by the parties at the official residence during confinement, was rescued yesterday, paradoxically, by the defection of one of his deputies.

In one of the most shocking images of the very agitated parliamentary session the day before yesterday, in which there were up to five calls for Johnson’s resignation, the Conservative Christian Wakeford got up from the government bench and crossed the House of Commons to go sit with the Labor opposition.

You and the Conservative Party as a whole have proven incapable of offering the leadership and government that this country deserves, he denounced, in a message read by another parliamentarian.

The 37-year-old MP is one of the young Conservatives elected in the 2019 general election from constituencies in the de-industrialized north of England, who traditionally voted Labor but were seduced by Johnson’s promise to deliver Brexit, then years in the making. stagnant.

Like him, many are among the conservatives most critical of the attitude of their leader, who wrote letters to the 1922 Committee, in charge of managing the parliamentary group, requesting the launch of an internal motion of censure to expel him from the party’s reins and , consequently, of Downing Street.

However, for this, at least 54 letters are needed, 15 percent of the 360 ​​deputies of the government majority, and although their number is kept secret until that threshold is reached, the rebellion seemed cooled yesterday precisely by the movement of the turncoat .

At a time when polls give Labor an unusual lead of more than 10 points, his defection reminded some Conservatives how much is at stake.

The premier is likely to thank Christian for what he did, because it has made a lot of people think twice, MP Andrew Percy told BBC Radio 4.

It has made people a little more relaxed, it has calmed the nerves, he said. I think people have recognized that in reality this constant navel gazing and internal debate only benefits our political opponents, he stressed.

According to some media, some of the rebels have even withdrawn their letters already submitted to the 1922 Committee.

His critics accuse Johnson of lying to Parliament about what he knew about the many parties, often heavily ingested, thrown by staff in Downing Street, where his offices and official residence are located, during the confinements due to covid-19 imposed in recent years and that prohibited this type of meeting.

Although last week he apologized for what this may have meant for 67 million Britons who at that time could not see their family and friends, or even say goodbye to their deceased, the prime minister denied having broken any rules.

He asked everyone to wait for the conclusions of an internal investigation commissioned by official Sue Gray that could be released next week. And on Wednesday he defended himself in a very combative way in a position that he hopes to keep until the next legislative elections, scheduled until 2024.