The last few months of British politics have been dominated by a constant stream of calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign.
First there was ‘Partygate’, where the revelations that Boris Johnson and his government had hosted and attended gatherings at 10 Downing Street under COVID-19 restrictions caused disgust within the Labour Party and the general public across the country. Then Boris snuck through a no-confidence vote from his own party by the skin of his teeth, seemingly immune from contest in the top job for the next year.
However, last week the focus turned to the assault accusations against, and subsequent resignation of, Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher. After insisting the PM knew nothing of Pincher’s previous allegations and investigations, last night it was revealed that Boris Johnson actually was aware.
And thus began a swift wave of government resignations, starting with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid, now numbered at over 30 resignations in 24 hours.
The pressure has built and the pot seems ready to explode as political analysts predict an inevitable end for Boris, and MPs across the nation call for his resignation.
Closer to home in York, both the Labour member for York Central, Rachael Maskell, and Conservative member for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, have commented on the dramatic events of the last day in Westminster.
Last night, Rachael Maskell commented on the assault cover-up, stating on Twitter:
“Today I challenged Government. When people cover up and obfuscate, perpetrators are free to abuse again. The Government cover ups have resulted in reports of sexual assault. People abused by their silence. This is serious. The power game play must end. Time’s up. PM go”
Julian Sturdy subsequently showed strong support for the resigning cabinet members on Tuesday night, tweeting that it was, “Brilliant to see Sajid and Rishi follow their principles.”
Following the growing wave of resignations today, Maskell tweeted on Wednesday morning:
“The Prime Minister rearranging the chairs on the titanic won’t fix this sinking ship. Some have run for the lifeboats, but the rest will go down with the captain as the storm brews. There is no way back this time @BorisJohnson It is over.”
As sinking ship metaphors sweep the nation, Sturdy too utilised a Titanic metaphor, tweeting at midday on Wednesday:
“Unfolding events clearly underline my previous judgement that the Prime Minister’s position is untenable. I urge him to stop rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, and resign with dignity. The Government has very significant achievements, but it is obvious new leadership is required for it to rise to current challenges.”
As the resignation letters continue piling up, the pressure around Boris is building to a boiling point and Members of Parliament across the country, and specifically in York, seem to be signalling an inevitable and incoming end point for the Prime Minister.