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‘Another Boris cop-out’: constituents react to PM’s lockdown party apology | Boris Johnson


On the streets of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, the place Boris Johnson has been MP since 2015, folks expressed “disappointment” and referred to as for the prime minister to face a police investigation and penalties for breaking lockdown guidelines. However ought to he stop? Not an opportunity.

Whereas most voters who spoke to the Guardian within the west London constituency expressed frustration and anger with actions they perceived as unfair, some common Conservative voters stated they’d stay loyal to the prime minister, and others have been sceptical concerning the alternate options.

Stuart Horace, a 57-year-old IT skilled, was dissatisfied with Johnson’s apology for attending a No 10 backyard occasion on 20 Could 2020 and thought he ought to pay the identical wonderful as a member of the general public caught breaching Covid guidelines, as ought to his principal non-public secretary, Martin Reynolds, whom he felt was most guilty provided that he despatched the invitation to about 100 workers.

Nevertheless, he didn’t contemplate the difficulty a deal-breaker for Johnson’s premiership, and stated that he would vote for him once more, since “many people” held unlawful drinks events throughout lockdown.

He stated: “Tony Blair sent the country to an illegal war for which we’re still picking up the bill, while Boris Johnson went to an illegal gathering with booze. Did Tony Blair resign?”

Hayley Babb
‘It’s do as I say, not as I do,’ stated Hayley Babb of the message being despatched. {Photograph}: Martin Godwin/The Guardian

Hayley Babb, a 36-year-old pictures pupil, stated she thought the apology was “another Boris cop-out” and that he would use the pandemic to deflect consideration away from the doable breach of guidelines. “It’s do as I say, not as I do,” she stated.

She needed to see him face a police investigation however thought this was unlikely to lead to his resignation as a result of he has “brass balls” and escaped earlier scandals unscathed. There was no person she would particularly wish to take over, she added, since they’re “all corrupt” and have a tendency to come back from rich backgrounds with a restricted understanding of working-class folks.

Kevin Gibson, a 62-year-old venture supervisor, stated he was particularly galled by the actual fact the occasion happened on the identical time he had been unable to see his son, who was dwelling in supported lodging. “It’s not about Boris Johnson or left wing versus right wing. It’s about deceit,” he stated.

He voted for Johnson within the final election due to his stance on Brexit, and customarily voted Conservative, however stated he wouldn’t once more. He considered Labour and the Tories as “two sides of the same coin” and would go for whichever occasion represented a protest vote as a substitute.

Shirley Clark, a retired administrator, had been suspicious of Johnson earlier than the revelations and didn’t vote for him within the final election. “If the man can’t comb his hair, he can’t unscramble his brains.” However, she queried: “Who have we got who could take over?”

Egle Sumskai, who’s unemployed and aged 26, stated the Downing Avenue occasion had modified her opinion of Johnson and he or she wouldn’t vote to return him because the constituency’s MP. “It’s not fair on all of us. I’m 100% sure he’s not the right person to lead the country.”

Ali Taher, a 32-year-old retail employee, shared Sumskai’s sense of betrayal, and stated he was “disappointed”. “Their real face is exposed. They are losing credibility,” he stated.

Taher was unable to vote over the last election and he stated he was unsure who he would vote for in future. “I like Boris Johnson’s character but not his policies. I feel that he divides rather than unites the nation. When it comes to real responsibilities and being prime minister, he doesn’t seem to take things seriously, especially in the last few years.”

He’s extra interested by voting for a leftwing occasion, he stated, however added that Keir Starmer “feels like a Tory in the closet”.

Ali Taher
‘Their real face is exposed. They are losing credibility,’ stated Ali Taher. {Photograph}: Martin Godwin/The Guardian

Nevertheless, a number of Conservative voters have been grateful to Johnson for his work as an area MP. One man, who requested to not be named, gestured on the prosperous-looking excessive avenue. “Look how clean it is,” he stated.

His views have been echoed by a property guide who requested to not be named. He felt the Conservatives had helped him construct life and enabled him to purchase a home, and that journalists have been “exaggerating” the events. “They’re just sitting in the garden,” the 43-year-old stated.

He stated he would vote Conservative once more, and would love Rishi Sunak to be the subsequent prime minister for the reason that chancellor has carried out effectively in the course of the pandemic.

Debbie Cusmans, a 57-year-old carer, stated she had requested Johnson to assist her combat an eviction discover, and he had executed so. She voted for him final time, and would once more.

She brandished a duplicate of a newspaper with an image of Johnson seated at a No 10 gathering together with his spouse, Carrie, and several other colleagues. “You can’t call that a party,” she stated, including: “It’s a very difficult time to be prime minister.”

Be a part of our journalists for a Guardian Stay on-line occasion on the No 10 lockdown occasion and Boris Johnson’s future on Wednesday 19 January. Book here

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