Labour 'Dropped the Ball' on Forcing BoJo Out Over 'Partygate'

© MAY JAMESA man dressed up as Boris Johnson performs outside Downing Street, in London
A man dressed up as Boris Johnson performs outside Downing Street, in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.01.2022
The opposition Labour Party has demanded in vain that PM Boris Johnson resign over claims he allowed staff parties at Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown. But its wooing of anti-BoJo Tory MP Chris Wakeford has only strengthened support for the leader.
The British opposition has been charged with fumbling the chance to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson out of office.
Sky News' Trevor Phillips grilled Labour Party shadow levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy on Sunday morning, asking: "Has Labour missed its shot at the prime minister?".
Nandy claimed it was up to Johnson to "end the circus" by admitting to personal wrongdoing in the row over his staff enjoying wine and cheese in their offices and the Downing Street garden during the COVID-19 lockdowns — and claims of birthday parties and farewell gatherings.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has repeatedly — but impotently — called on Johnson to resign in the past fortnight.
"Your job as opposition, as you describe it, is to get rid of him. Have you missed the opportunity? Did you fumble the ball?" Phillips pressed.
The labour frontbencher replied that the power to oust Johnson rested with ruling Tory MPs, "who could, if they wanted to, trigger for the prime minister to go or back a vote of no-confidence" in the entire government.
Phillips, himself a Labour member and former London Assembly member for the party, pointed out that Conservatives would not back no-confidence vote moved by the opposition — a move that would force a snap election at a time when Labour has its first significant poll lead in three years.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson samples an Isle of Harris gin as he visits a UK Food and Drinks market, set up in Downing Street, London, Tuesday Nov. 30, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.01.2022
Boris Johnson: Report on Downing Street Parties to Be Published in 'Full'
Nandy admitted that there was "no point in perpetuating the circus" when "people have real problems." She ultimately pinned her hopes on public voting the government out at the next general election, not due until 2024, for his alleged misbehaviour and "broken promises".
"It's not my job to make moral judgements about the prime minister. But What I'm asking you is, if you think it's all so terrible, he's so ghastly, he's making a mess of the country, why haven't you been able to do anything about it?" Phillips asked. "That's the job of opposition."
"Do you want me to go down to London now and frog-march him out of Downing Street?" Nandy whined. "In the end we live in a democracy, and if Tory MPs won't find the backbone and the courage to do the right thing then it will be up to the British people."
"What we'll do as the opposition is leave no stone unturned. We will not rest until people.. have got answers from the prime minister about what was going on on his watch."
Prospects of the requisite 15 per cent of sitting Conservatives — 54 at the present head-count — sending letters to the chair of the party's backbench 1922 Committee calling for a leadership vote have receded in the last 10 days. Tories have rallied round the PM since one of the rebels, Bury South MP Christian Wakeford, crossed the floor to the Labour benches on January 19.
Conservative Harlow MP Robert Halfon said on the same programme he wanted "three Rs" from Johnson: to respond to the allegations, take responsibility and "reset the government and focus on the genuine people's priorities. But he rejected Phillips "fourth R" for the PM to resign.
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