Britain needs a new government, not just a change of leader, union and opposition leaders warn
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Morning Star

The country needs a new government, not just a change of leader, government critics said yesterday following Boris Johnson’s resignation after his attempts to cling to power failed.

Mr. Johnson revealed that he would be stepping down as Tory leader after he admitted he had failed to persuade his Cabinet colleagues that he could fight on.

However, he said he planned to stay on in his role until autumn when a successor will be elected by his party, but critics hit out at his “ridiculous” decision to remain.

In a statement, Mr. Johnson said: “In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate.

“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and, of course, it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.”

Mr. Johnson said he had fought to stay on because of a sense of “duty” to the “millions of people who voted for us” in 2019.

The decision followed multiple scandals to hit the PM, with almost 60 of his ministers and MPs quitting government or party posts this week.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said that Mr. Johnson “showed his true colors at a time of crisis” by clinging on to power rather than looking after the country.

“He leaves a dreadful legacy. Billions of pounds wasted on useless, fraudulent PPE contracts and huge numbers of deaths in care homes. Public services are on the brink and essential workers who provide them can’t make ends meet. Three years after Johnson promised to ‘fix social care’ on the steps of Downing Street, it’s in a worse state than ever.”

Ms. McAnea said the country deserves better, adding: “There must be a general election so voters can determine what happens next, rather than leaving our future at the mercy of squabbling Conservative MPs.

“The rest of the Cabinet share responsibility for the terrible state we’re in. To be effectively rudderless in the depths of a cost-of-living crisis is shameful. Nothing less than a change of direction is needed. And that means a change of government.”

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said that while the PM’s resignation was “good news for the country,” it “should have happened long ago.”

He said: “He was always unfit for office. He has been responsible for lies, scandal, and fraud on an industrial scale. And all those who have been complicit should be utterly ashamed. Enough is enough. We don’t need to change the Tory at the top — we need a proper change of government.”

Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar said that the entire country “will be breathing a sigh of relief,” but added that whoever replaces him “is complicit. This is a party that is rotten to the core, that allowed a cheat, a charlatan, a man devoid of any principles or any values to become the prime minister of this country — and they inflicted his carnage on this country for years. That’s why not only do we need to see the back of Boris Johnson, we also need to see the back of this Tory government.”

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that Mr. Johnson will “want to do things and in the process of that undoubtedly cause more chaos than he has already” if he remains PM until October.

USDAW general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “While the government has been paralyzed by internal scandal and focused on desperate attempts to save a discredited PM, working people have been struggling to make ends meet in the midst of the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis.

“The Prime Minister’s omnishambles has lurched from one crisis to another, with widespread law-breaking, tolerance of appalling behavior, and a disregard for the ministerial code of conduct across the government.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said that “suggestions he can remain in office until October are ridiculous.”

And Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the “best option would be for an interim PM to take over.”

Morning Star


Ceren Sagir
Ceren Sagir

Morning Star deputy news editor and social affairs reporter, and UK representative for Halk TV.