Tory #SteveBaker reckons #BorisJohnson is facing #checkmate over #Partygate

Steve Baker.

Boris Johnson’s position must be precarious indeed if arch-Brexiter Steve Baker is saying he’s had his day.

Baker, interviewed by the BBC’s Nick Robinson, admitted that Johnson wasn’t elected for his grasp of “tedious rules”, but… well, see/hear it for yourself:

It’s possible that this MP’s words are motivated by his own issues with Johnson’s Covid-19 strategy.

But Johnson is (prematurely, perhaps) scrapping health protection measures (Baker would call them restrictions) related to the Omicron wave of Covid-19. As a staunch opponent of Covid-related protections that hinder the economy, Baker might be expected to get behind his prime minister in support, and not to stab him in the back.

But the crux of the matter is Johnson’s persistent breaking of his own Covid-19 rules. Perhaps this has offended Baker’s sense of fair play (if a Tory can be said to have such a thing): the rest of us have been having to abide by rules that Baker didn’t think were necessary, yet Johnson seemed clearly to have decided to ignore them, even before he read them out to us.

It’s likely that this is the reason Baker denounced Johnson’s behaviour as “appalling”, saying the public were right to be “furious” and suggesting that the prime minister is facing “checkmate”.

The word from Downing Street is still to wait until Sue Gray reports on her inquiry. But she’s a Johnson employee, of course.

And with accusations that Johnson’s allies are blackmailing Tory MPs to withhold “no confidence” letters, will we really have to wait that long until he’s ousted?

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