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Opinion
Therese Raphael

Boris Johnson Has Kicked Off a Tory Battle of Succession

The prime minister’s apology won’t wash with many people, but his party has to decide if he’s now more of a liability than a winner. 

Boris Johnson departs number 10 Downing Street.

Boris Johnson departs number 10 Downing Street.

Source: Bloomberg

Updated on

One of the quainter rules among British lawmakers is they can’t openly accuse each other of lying. It doesn’t bode well for Boris Johnson that on Wednesday his opponents found so many ways around that convention, with barely a peep of protest from his own benches.  

Labour lawmaker Toby Perkins asked him to explain “why he believes that the great office of prime minister can be held to a lower standard than those previous jobs he was sacked from?” Labour leader Keir Starmer got away with asking “Can’t the prime minister see why the British public think he is lying through his teeth?” — a line that at any other time might have earned him a stern word from the Speaker.