Boris Johnson polls: Can the Prime Minister survive this?
Allegra Stratton in tears as she resigns as Boris Johnson’s adviser
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An official investigation will take place, looking into three events that took place late in 2020 as the UK headed back into lockdown. Downing Street parties on November 27 and December 18, and at the education department on December 10, will be examined for coronavirus rule breaches put into place by Boris Johnson himself.
Mr Johnson and his Government have insisted no rules were broken, but the Labour Party has called for the PM’s resignation if he is found to have misled MPs about the events.
According to polling, the public agrees that Mr Johnson should step down, with anger particularly high over a video that showed spokeswoman Allegra Stratton joking about the December 18 party. She resigned after the video was leaked.
A snap poll by Savanta ComRes this week found 54 percent of adults agreed Boris Johnson should resign over the breach of lockdown rules.
And a stunning 33 percent of voters who voted Tory in the 2019 election agree.
A separate poll by Opinium found 53 percent thought he should resign, up five points from a fortnight ago, including 35 percent of Conservative voters.
Some 58 percent of the 1,116 polled by Opinium from December 7 to 8 said all those who attended the party should also resign.
But is this enough to topple Boris Johnson, the man who won a greater victory in a general election than had been seen in more than 50 years?
Dr Steven McCabe, a lecturer, researcher and economist at the Birmingham City University’s Centre for Brexit Studies, told Express.co.uk that Mr Johnson’s whole life “has been a mixture of apparent indulgence, indolence and contempt for rules”.
He said: “It’s important to remember he’s previously survived scandals that would’ve finished the careers of most others.
“His tenacity and ability to move on without apology is legendary.
“However, as recent events have shown, he may have overreached the limits of tolerance of not just the public but, equally significantly, a fair number of his own MPs.”
But Dr McCabe is sceptical about whether he would resign.
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He said that Mr Johnson, “ever the gambler, ever the survivor, will seek to move on from the scandal by redoubling emphasis on the policies that gave him a thumping majority just under two years ago”.
Mr Johnson insisted in Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions he was “focusing on getting on with the job”.
But the Savanta ComRes snap poll showed that more people now support the PM’s resignation than in April, after reports that he said he’d rather see “bodies pile up” than order another Covid lockdown.
The survey of 1,036 adults on December 8 also found 29 percent of people said they would be less likely to follow the government’s Covid rules as a result of the story.
Almost two thirds (72 percent) said that the Metropolitan Police should investigate any wrongdoing or illegal activity in reference to the alleged party.
And 76 percent of adults, including two thirds (67 percent) of 2019 Tory voters think the PM should apologise.
Speaking on the poll, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at the Savanta ComRes said: “As the Prime Minister continues to refuse to acknowledge the party or admit that there was a breach of Covid guidelines, it’s clear from this poll that the public are taking a dim view of the scandal.”
He added there was “an overwhelming majority saying that the Government have let the public, the NHS and, crucially, those who have lost loved ones to Covid, down”.
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