Weakened by this vote which saw more than 40% of his majority try to oust him on Monday, the head of the Conservative government hopes to turn the page on “partygate” and maintain himself, claiming to want to focus on the priorities of the British, strangled by inflation at its highest for forty years.
“Over the coming weeks, the government will introduce reforms to help people contain costs across all areas of household spending, from food to energy, childcare, transport and housing. “, must assure Mr. Johnson in a speech from Lancashire (north-west of England), excerpts of which have been communicated in advance.
With these reforms, “we will protect homes, boost productivity and above all increase growth in the UK”, he must say.
According to a statement from Downing Street, Mr. Johnson should notably announce new aid intended to encourage the British to become owners, subject even to seduce the traditional conservative electorate.
The Prime Minister has already expressed his intention to extend the possibility – set up under Margaret Thatcher – given to tenants of social housing to become owners.
Britain’s newspapers focused on rising prices — and the government’s commitment to stem it — on Thursday, with The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror each reporting on soaring fuel prices.
The conservative Daily Mail hailed the Downing Street scheme, saying an “invigorated Boris Johnson will slash bills all over the place with his most sweeping move yet to ease the cost of living crisis”.
– Weakened authority –
This speech comes less than two weeks after the announcement of a plan of 15 billion pounds (17 billion euros) of aid to households, while inflation has now reached 9%, fuel prices at the pump and food are soaring and energy bills will see another massive rise in the fall.
With these new announcements, the Prime Minister, who has become very unpopular two and a half years after his electoral triumph, wants to turn the page after the vote of no confidence which targeted him because of the “partygate”, these parties in Downing Street during the confinements anti-Covid which earned him a fine – a first for a Prime Minister in office in the United Kingdom.
On Wednesday, as he faced MPs for the first time since the vote, the Tory leader appeared to be succeeding — at least temporarily — in rallying his troops in the face of attacks from the Labor opposition.
“We have the lowest unemployment rate since 1974 and we will continue to grow our economy over the long term,” said Boris Johnson.
But even if he cannot be targeted by another motion of no confidence for a year, he sees his authority undermined by the scale of the sling. He now has the delicate mission of once again seducing his troops and his electorate.
Gathering his party, divided, promises to be difficult. There is a high risk that disgruntled MPs will obstruct future government action.
Especially since if he managed to escape internal attacks on Wednesday from the Conservative benches, Boris Johnson has not finished with the repercussions of the “partygate”.
After those of the police and senior civil servant Sue Gray, another investigation, this time parliamentary, is planned. If the latter concludes, a priori in the fall, that he deceived the House of Commons by claiming not to have broken the rules, he is supposed to resign.
Two by-elections on June 23 will also have test value for the conservative leader who rules out the possibility of early legislative elections, with the elections to be held in 2024.
Some Tory MPs like Tobias Ellwood only give him “a few months”. Several names of possible candidates for his succession are circulating but none really emerges, enough to make some elected officials hesitate, tempted to oust the head of government.