Boris Johnson: Leadership speculation mounts following humiliating UK election results

The knives are out for UK PM Boris Johnson after humiliating election results last week. Some of his own MPs now say he could face a leadership vote within weeks.

He won a landslide, historic, election victory just over two years ago but Boris Johnson might no longer be British Prime Minister in as little as three weeks, as a leadership challenge mounts following a series of humiliating defeats in UK elections last week.

The loss of the prestigious, blue ribbon London councils of Westminster, Wandsworth and Barnet at Thursday’s local council elections came after Mr Johnson was fined by Police for breaking a coronavirus law he helped to create.

A prominent Conservative columnist had branded Mr Johnson a “slob” with no “presiding intellect,” who should be dumped in favor of his finance minister before it’s too late.

The Times’ Matthew Parris has joined a chorus of other Tories whose nerves have been shredded due to continued gaffes coming from Downing Street, a resurgence in both the opposition Labor Party and potential kingmakers the Liberal Democrats, and the drubbing in last week’s elections.

Mr Johnson’s supporters insist he’s going nowhere. But longtime Conservative backbencher Sir Roger Gale told The Independent: “There’s a tide that’s flowing that’s unstoppable.”

Boris’ election humiliation

On Thursday, Northern Ireland in Scotland, Wales and as well as London and a smattering of other English regions went to the polls to vote for their local councillors.

The local elections are often an opportunity to give a whack to the party in power – and Brits certainly did that.

The main UK opposition Labor Party of Sir Keir Starmer won in Tory “crown jewels” in the capital, including the former PM’s Margaret Thatcher’s “favorite” council Wandsworth, and the City of Westminster for the first time since it was created in 1964.

In Scotland, the Conservatives slipped to third place behind the Scottish Nationalists and Labor. In Wales, the Tories lost control of their only council.

While in Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein – the former political wing of the terrorist IRA group – emerged as the largest single party. The region continues to reel from the effects of Brexit which Mr Johnson championed.

The UK now faces the very real prospect of an independence referendum in Scotland and a Northern Irish vote on unification with the Republic of Ireland.

Brexit delivered a landslide; Now it’s a problem

Mr Johnson had been riding high in his role as an international statesman, talking tough to Russia and dropping into Kyiv for chats with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

But the elections have been a wakeup call. An ashen faced PM said the results were mixed.

“We had a tough night in some parts of the country, but on the other hand, in other parts of the country you are still seeing Conservatives going forward and making quite remarkable gains in places that haven’t voted Conservative for a long time, if ever.”

Indeed, the Tours held on in areas where locals were keen on Brexit. Mr Johnson’s huge election victory in December 2019, where the Conservatives received a majority of 80 seats, was due to the party widening its appeal by picking up new MPs in mostly English electorates with strong pro-Brexit sentiments.

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