Boris Johnson: Defiant PM insists he will carry on in Number 10, but will his MPs let him? | Politics News


Hot, bothered, ill-tempered and on the back foot is how the prime minister appeared on Thursday when he was barraged with questions over partygate.

But the Boris Johnson who appeared before the media on Friday was brisk, businesslike and in no mood to say anything more on his domestic difficulties.

He batted away repeated questions on whether he could survive the scandal after parliament decided to investigate whether he misled MPs over parties in No 10. When asked when his nine lives would run out, he told journalists they’d “already had a good kick of the cat” yesterday.

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PM confident he’ll stay in job

In control of the press conference, the prime minister instead sought to wrestle back the news agenda, using the stage to make new announcements on areas where he had some hope of impressing his MPs.

On Ukraine, an issue that many in his party agree Mr Johnson has led well, he announced London would re-open its embassy in Kyiv.

And he also threw his backbenchers real red meat when he announced the UK would send British tanks to Poland to allow the Poles to send T72 tanks into Ukraine.

A significant increase in support for President Zelenskyy is something that will please a parliamentary party with whom Mr Johnson is very much out of favour.

And on trade, the prospect of a serious post-Brexit trade deal by the autumn with a country that is set to become the third-biggest economy in the world by 2050, with a population bigger than the US and EU combined.

The prime minister said both sides wanted to achieve this trade deal by the festival of Diwali in October, which would be a cause for genuine celebration from a party that pushed through Brexit but has yet to land that much-lauded US trade deal.

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Beth Rigby interviews Boris Johnson

But the question that hangs over it all is whether he’ll still be around when that trade deal comes around, given the way the partygate scandal threatens to implode his premiership.

Fourteen of his MPs are already publicly calling for him to go, and there could be more fines on the way.

Defiant in Delhi after a torrid trip, he is determined to carry on. But what he doesn’t really know – and must fear – is whether his MPs, in the end, will let him.


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