London, United Kingdom – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s grip on power is once again questioned over new reports of a groundbreaking drinks party in the Downing Street Rose Garden.
During the social event on 20 May 2020, which had a reported 40 participants, the UK recorded 363 deaths due to COVID-19, as the government told the public, “you can have one person outside of you meeting household in an outdoor audience. place. ”
Johnson, the leader of the Conservative Party, acknowledge that he briefly joined the party on Wednesday’s questions and acknowledged the public’s growing “anger” that COVID-19 measures “are not properly followed by the people who make the rules”.
According to London pollster Savanta ComRes, more than two-thirds (66 per cent) of voters think the prime minister should resign now, including 42 per cent of those who voted for the Conservatives in the 2019 election. The poll shows a 12-point increase on a previous poll conducted by the organization in December, when allegations surfaced of a Christmas party being held in Downing Street in 2020, when the UK was under strict COVID-19 rules.
Johnson’s popularity among the public has declined since June. Following his confession on Wednesday, senior members of his government are demanding his resignation.
Al Jazeera spoke to people in the UK who voted for Johnson in 2019 on how they feel now, and whether they continue to support the Prime Minister and his Conservative Party.
‘He was invented as a charlatan’
Matthew, 28, a financial services employee in Lancashire:
“He was the right man at the right time – to sort out Brexit. I do not think the voters voted for Johnson for his rising character, but given what the country faced at the time, the constitutional crisis caused by the parliamentary stalemate due to Brexit and the prospect of [former opposition Labour Party leader] Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, he was the only credible option.
But now that he had the chance to rule properly, outside the pandemic umbrella that protected him to a great extent, he was invented as a charlatan.
It is time for a serious and capable pair of hands, and a more morally authoritative person to navigate us through what will be some difficult social, economic and geopolitical times ahead. ”
‘He can recover from this scandal’
Sarah, a 40 year old London woman working in marketing:
“The past year and a half has been very bad for everyone, while I’m sure Number 10 Downing Street is a delicious bubble. There should not have been a party there while everyone else should have stayed inside. It is sad to see that someone is in such a prominent public position and does not expect any form of liability.
“I think the garden party was a simple error of judgment, which of course does not look good in newspapers and for the public. I feel he can recover from this scandal and it will blow over. Hopefully he has learned his lesson, because otherwise he will have a fight in his hands. [Labour leader] Sir Keir Starmer’s popularity will inevitably increase.
“I am a swing voter, depending on the mandate of the party. I have not decided how I will vote in the next election. “
‘I continue to support Boris’
Ben, 41, a Somerset green investment manager:
“I struggle to worry about whether or not number 10 staff, who spent the whole day through the pandemic, gathered around the coffee machine or in the garden at that time.
“I continue to support Boris Johnson for three fundamental reasons: because he did Brexit when most of the British establishment was focused on reversing the outcome of the 2016 referendum. Because he has applied greater ambition to local and international nature and climate policy than any prime minister we have ever had. ”
“I am satisfied with the work he has done.”
Claret, a 48-year-old business manager in Scotland:
“I believe there is a concentrated effort by other parties to discredit him and the Conservative Party for any reason they can find.
“I voted for Johnson in 2019. I am very satisfied with the work he did and think he did a great job through the pandemic. He managed the deployment of the vaccine and boosters very well. He had to get COVID-19, lose his mother and betrayal of his own party.
“But if there was another leadership challenge, I would have to think carefully about how I vote in the next election.”
‘I would prefer a change of leadership in the Conservative Party’
Gordon, 45, from London:
“Johnson did not meet many of the Conservative Party’s goals and expectations of people running for office. [Conservative] government.
“I’m not particularly lock-friendly – to see the city so dead is not nice. I did not think restraint restrictions should have been in place in the first place. The garden party bothers me from the point of view that Johnson, after going down this very unsustainable, expensive route, did not obey the rules.
“Will I vote for Johnson again? It’s hard. I would prefer a change of leadership in the Conservative Party. If there was a viable alternative, I would vote for them. ”
“He is out of touch with what people feel”
Rita, 62, from Essen:
“He went a step too far. He is out of touch with reality and what people feel. And he does not seem to think he did anything wrong – that’s the problem. But I will still vote for him and the Conservative Party, 100 percent. There is no one else from any party for whom I think I can vote to take his place. In other words, we are very tired. ”
Editor’s note: These interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.