How is it possible to make sense of the Prime Minister’s choice to remain silent during the voting on the report from the Privileges Committee that condemned Boris Johnson’s behaviour? During the vote that took place on Monday evening, around 118 members of the Conservative Party’s House of Commons caucus voted against the former Tory leader. A small number of Johnson devotees showed support for their hero. The rest of them just sat there doing nothing. The Prime Minister was one of those who declined to vote.
Why? When it comes to Johnson, Rishi Sunak has never been one to shy away from picking a fight with him in the past. The previous year, Sunak was instrumental in bringing about the downfall of the incompetent Boris. His departure from his position as Chancellor was a contributing factor in the complete collapse. Stephen Swinford, who serves as the political editor for The Times and has an impeccable reporting record, can provide some insight into what is going on. Swinford was informed by Johnson allies (a small band of people on the Johnson honours list and a sprinkling of MPs), that Boris Johnson now supported a truce with Sunak.
According to the insider, “He’s entering a different phase of his life.” “He is hoping to lower the level of tension with the government. He is of the opinion that he will best be able to protect his long-term interests if he refrains from stirring up trouble. He is in a state of watching and waiting at the moment. All of this, however, is contingent on the government of Sunak not interfering with him in any way. This is hilarious coming from Johnson’s allies, because it was just a week ago that Johnson himself was scheming his comeback and declared war on the government and Sunak.
The word on the street is that a shady transaction took place. A difficult general election is approaching, so Sunak and senior cabinet members decide to withhold their votes, and Johnson decides to call off the dogs. All of this will be refuted, and there will be significant discussion about making a clean break from the past and moving forward. On cue, this morning on the wireless, a cabinet minister by the name of poor Mel Stride was put forth to defend Sunak and those who had abstained from voting. It was difficult for him to say, and at times he seemed both embarrassed and miserable as he did so: everyone needs to go on. At this rate, and assuming that the polls are accurate, with growing leads for Labour, everyone is moving on to a Labour government.