UPDATE – 4.30pm, August 29: Furious Tory backbenchers are demanding an explanation from Boris Johnson after an opinion poll showed he has squandered his thumping great lead over the Labour Party.
Charles Walker, vice-chair of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, said his colleagues were concerned that a series of u-turns over Covid-19 had undermined the party’s credibility to govern. This Site has already reported that this has been attributed to a desire not to be outflanked by Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP.
The fiasco over ‘A’ level exams and GCSEs, together with policy reversals – most recently on the wearing of face masks in schools – have created unrest that Walker said he will have to report to Johnson when MPs return to Parliament on Tuesday (those who do – many are likely to stay away due to social distancing).
Of course the poll lead the Tories enjoyed at the end of March, when with the help of misleading news media they were widely held to be handling Covid-19 well – and Labour was awaiting the announcement of its new leader, should not have been taken as an indication of the kind of lead the Tories could hope to maintain.
But new Labour leader Keir Starmer has failed to make a good impression on the general public with a series of questionable decisions, so the outlier Opinium poll showing his party neck-and-neck with the Tories is a major wake-up call for Johnson and his cronies.
The drama is related to the revelation that Boris Johnson could be facing a challenge to his continuation as prime minister – over his demand that we should all stop working from home and risk Covid-19 infection by going back to work.
It’s an odd demand to make as we come to a time of year when coronavirus infections normally increase – and indeed we are seeing a rise in the Covid-19 infection rate.
Doubly so, considering the fact that a majority of both employees and employers seem to be opposed to it.
iNews has reported that a month after Johnson ditched his advice that people should work from home in favour of them returning to the workplace, his demand has fallen on deaf ears. Town centres remain empty.
Ministers are trying to explain away the sluggish response by pointing to the fact that August is the height of the holiday season (even though, with Covid restrictions, there’s practically nowhere to go).
But there appears to be a growing wave of opinion that Johnson has failed to inspire the nation and should be replaced.
(To be continued…)
* This story is ongoing and will be updated as new developments come to This Site.
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