In the News

The beginning of the end for Boris Johnson's government?

Mike McCartney

14th November 2021

Apparently endless stories of party sleaze may finally be catching up with the PM.

I posted something earlier about the disparity in voting intentions in the USA and the UK. President Biden has been taking a kicking in the polls for the political and economic challenges he is facing, but up until recently his British counterpart has been way ahead of the Labour Party.

Until now, it seems. As reported in today's paper:

"Two weeks ago it was difficult to find a single Labour MP who genuinely thought their party was in with a chance of winning the next election. The mood was one of quiet resignation at the prospect of a fifth consecutive defeat. The media had also largely written off Keir Starmer.

A fortnight of Tory sleaze stories later, with Boris Johnson having been at the centre of many of them, it all looks very different.

A golden rule of spin doctors, often attributed to Alastair Campbell (though he denies being the originator), is that if one particularly bad story is still plastered over the front pages nine days after it first broke, then the person at the centre of the storm will be in terminal trouble.

Saturday was the 10th day since the Paterson fiasco, in which Johnson tried to save his friend’s career, despite the latter’s “egregious” breaches of Commons rules.

And the sleaze stories were still coming from left and right, thick and fast."

Read the full story here:

This theme was also in the i on Saturday

"Chris Curtis, senior research manager at the pollster Opinium, said the allegations of sleaze had really started to cut through, with 50 per cent of voters viewing both the PM and his party as “corrupt”.

According to polling, voters no longer view the Conservatives as the party of low taxes, and no longer trust them with the country’s finances. Add this to very real concerns over a cost-of-living crisis, and Mr Johnson has more immediate problems than climate change, Mr Curtis said."


So could this be the defining moment of the Johnson premiership, with echoes of the sleaze of the 1990s that brought down the Major government?

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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