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Johnson’s ratings hit record low

There are also signs tensions between Johnson and Rishi Sunak are at risk of boiling over, with Treasury sources hitting out at Johnson for ‘blowing’ announcements including a huge £96billion rail upgrade, reports Asian Lite News

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw his personal ratings slump to a record low on Wednesday. The premier suffered another blow as a Savanta ComRes poll suggested the chaos is cutting through to voters, with his net favourability score dropping to minus 14. That was down from minus nine last month, and worse than during the bleak second coronavirus surge last autumn.

The research also showed Labour hanging on to the lead in overall support, although the advantage has narrowed from six points last week to two.

The findings emerged as Conservatives tried to bulldoze through the problems this afternoon by cheering Johnson to the rafters as he got to his feet for the weekly Commons clashes.

The baiting came after No10 was forced to insist the PM is ‘well’ following his rambling address to business leaders on Monday, and with claims a dozen MPs have sent no-confidence letters to the powerful 1922 committee, the report said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. (Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street)

There are also signs tensions between Johnson and Rishi Sunak are at risk of boiling over, with Treasury sources hitting out at Johnson for ‘blowing’ announcements including a huge £96billion rail upgrade.

Senior Conservatives have been venting fury at a series of self-inflicted setbacks, demanding he brings in experienced big beasts to sharpen up his Downing Street team, the report added.

Rising discontent

Meanwhile, conservative MPs are increasingly worried about Boris Johnson’s competence and drive after he gave a rambling speech to business leaders and was accused of losing his grip over a series of key policies from social care to rail.

Senior members of his own party said they needed Johnson to get the government back on track after a disastrous two weeks amid dismay about his performance at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference, where he lost his place in his speech for about 20 seconds and diverted into a lengthy tangent about Peppa Pig, The Guardian reported.

The prime minister was also facing a substantial rebellion over his social care proposals, anger at the decision to scale back rail improvements for the north and frustration over the government’s failure to keep its promises on small boats crossing the Channel.

It caps a difficult fortnight for the prime minister after he admitted he “crashed the car into a ditch” in his handling of the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal, the report said.

Nervousness among Tory MPs about No 10 intensified after one Downing Street source told the BBC there was “a lot of concern inside the building about the PM — it’s just not working”, adding that the “cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it’ll keep getting worse”.

A former cabinet minister also told the Guardian that there was “an accumulation of things building up, really relating to his competence and that is beginning to look very shaky” after a “pretty bad bloody fortnight”.
He said it was unlikely to result in a leadership challenge while the polls were still fairly even between the Tories and Labour, but it could be “problematic for him” if that changes when an election is looming.

Another senior backbencher said Johnson’s CBI speech had been a “mess” while a third Tory MP said: “Someone needs to get a grip. He is losing the confidence of the party.”

Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Credits: No 10)

Speaking to the CBI conference, the PM also quoted Lenin and performed an impression of a car. Halting his speech led to an awkward 21 seconds of apologies and paper shuffling from the Tory leader.

Labour’s shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, called the speech “shambolic”. She added: “No one was laughing, because the joke’s not funny anymore.”
A senior Downing Street source told the BBC: “Business was really looking for leadership today and it was shambolic.”

They added there was “a lot of concern inside the building” about Johnson. “Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it’ll keep getting worse. If they don’t insist, he just won’t do anything about it.”

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