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Tories’ tipping point: let the succession games begin

World

Tories’ tipping point: let the succession games begin

After Boris Johnson’s partygate, the Conservatives must be eager to rid themselves of a wounded leader

Therese Raphael

One of the quainter rules among British lawmakers is they can’t openly accuse each other of lying. It doesn’t bode well for Boris Johnson that on Wednesday his opponents found so many ways around that convention, with barely a peep of protest from his own benches.  

Labour lawmaker Toby Perkins asked him to explain “why he believes that the great office of prime minister can be held to a lower standard than those previous jobs he was sacked from”? Labour leader Keir Starmer got away with asking: “Can’t the prime minister see why the British public think he is lying through his teeth?” — a line that at any other time might have earned him a stern word from the speaker.

It’s impossible to say now whether “partygate” is the thing that ends the remarkable, and remarkably resilient, political life of Boris Johnson. Often with this prime minister, his predicament looks desperate but not serious. But it doesn’t take much to see how the latest revelations leave him a weaker premier and how much easier it will be for either his party or voters to cut short his tenure...

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