The sweet summer of goodbye by Boris Johnson | International

The still British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has decided to enjoy without complexes the last weeks in office while the Conservatives elect a new leader. If anyone expected a president forced to resign after an internal rebellion in the Government to show some restraint and seek public redemption in the face of accusations of lying about parties during confinement in Downing Street, he has run into a Johnson who enjoys the sweet goodbye summer.

This weekend, in the sumptuous mansion of a millionaire Conservative Party donor in the Cotswolds, a prosperous area of ​​the English countryside that has long acted as a magnet for great fortunes, the British leader has organized, 14 months late , the great feast that the restrictions of the pandemic had prevented when, in May of last year, he married his third wife, Carrie Symonds, with whom he has two children.

The images of the preparations for the convite, which was expected to be attended by between 150 and 200 people on Saturday, showed a large tent erected on the more than four-square-mile estate of Daylesford House. The location, the exceptionality of the grade I house (real estate exclusivity seal in the United Kingdom) and even a heart-shaped orchard gave the Johnsons the celebration that the coronavirus had deprived them of. The rural enclave, however, was not the first choice: the celebration was planned at Checkers, the holiday residence of the British leaders in the English countryside, but, with the invitations sent, the couple had to find an alternative to the scandal caused for trying to use the official house for such a personal purpose after the prime minister was forced to resign on July 7.

In the institutional sphere, optics matter, also to Boris Johnson, although just ten days after publicly admitting that his time, like the patience of his party, had run out, he found the courage to convene more than a hundred on Sunday at Checkers of people for his farewell. According to British media, luxury hamburgers and sparkling wine circulated in abundance among the attendees, a mixture of ministers and friends of the premier. The same day An emergency meeting was being held to coordinate the response to the heat wave sweeping Europe. From the Executive they insisted that there were enough senior officials at the meeting.

In his decline as president, Johnson has not missed the opportunity to enjoy the most pleasant aspects of office. Thus, in mid-July he was seen enjoying himself in the cockpit of a Typhoon fighter plane, of which he even took the controls in mid-flight, when he went to give a speech at the Farnborough Air Show. And he took the opportunity, just days after his resignation, to record himself and upload a video to social networks in which he was encouraged to joke about the internal riot of which he had just been a victim: “I leave it to you to imagine who I would like to send in orbit into space.

The message seems to point to Michael Gove, whom he fired in the midst of the political storm while up to 60 senior officials left the Government. As one of the most influential members of his Cabinet, and one of the most veteran in successive Executives Tories since 2010, Gove had conveyed to Johnson that his time had come. The prime minister had not forgotten that in 2016 he sabotaged his first attempt to assault the leadership and, in the midst of a cascade of resignations, he abruptly dismissed it.

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The decision did not change his luck, already sentenced, but it showed that if he had to leave, he would do it his way, as Parliament had the opportunity to verify before the summer recess. The Prime Minister rejected the motion of censure that the Labor opposition wanted to debate and promoted a vote of confidence in his own Executive and vindicated his management at the head of what he described as one of the “most dynamic governments in modern times”. And he proclaimed that he had “got the big decisions right.” Only two days later, he said goodbye to the House of Commons with the famous phrase of the character of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Terminator II: “Bye, baby”. And in his resignation speech at the gates of Downing Street, he boldly launched the darts against the Conservative MPs who precipitated his downfall: “We have already seen how in Westminster [la sede del Parlamento británico] herd instinct is powerful, and when the herd moves, it moves.”

One of the candidates to succeed him, the former Economy Minister Rishi Sunak, is marked by the label of traitor that has earned him being one of the resigners who triggered the fall ―his opponent, the Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, stayed in the Government-. While the primary process continues, with the intention of appointing a new leader on September 5, it is estimated that some 14,000 members of the Conservative Party have signed a petition in support of Johnson remaining as leader. The promoter of the initiative, Peter Cruddas, a member of the House of Lords and a conservative donor, maintains that, at a lunch with Johnson at the Checkers residence, he confessed to him that he wanted to remain in office and headline the bill. the next elections.

His environment has denied that the prime minister flirts with the idea of ​​staying and the great unknown now is his immediate future. The first question is whether he will decide to emulate some of his predecessors, such as Tony Blair or David Cameron, and leave his seat as soon as possible. Johnson’s shadow will be lengthened for whoever replaces him at 10 Downing Street, and this week headlines like the Daily Telegrapha conservative bible, speculated on his potential promotion as secretary general of NATO.

As he has allowed his acolytes to spread, Johnson remains convinced that the blame for the riot that precipitated his resignation has nothing to do with him and maintains that those who forced his departure attacked the will of the 14 million people who had voted tory in the 2019 general election.

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