Boris branded ‘victim of Brexit’ as he lost ‘amiable showman’ card with Remoaners

Boris Johnson 'trashing us on world stage' says Rachel Reeves

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The Prime Minister, who famously used the slogan “Get Brexit Done” during his general election campaign in 2019, led Britain out of the European Union when the split was made formal on January 1, 2021. But just 18 months later, Boris Johnson is fighting for his political life after seeing his Cabinet crumble within a few short minutes when Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak resigned in quick succession. Several Conservative Party MPs have also quit, with the majority insisting they had lost confidence in the Prime Minister and cannot serve under the Government in its current state.

Many other senior Cabinet members, including Dominic Raab, Liz Truss Priti Patel and Ben Wallace, have provided some sort respite by continuing to throw their support behind their leader.

However, Mr Johnson is once again coming under surging pressure as calls for him to resign from all quarters continue to intensify.

Dominic Sandbrook, an author and historian said in the hours following the Brexit vote in June 2016, “the part of the national conciliator, the amiable patriotic showman, was lost to him forever”.

He wrote for British online magazine UnHerd: “Ask people who know Johnson well, and you get different answers. Some suggest that deep down, he has always been intensely insecure — something that’s true of many politicians, but wasn’t true of Reagan or Thatcher — and that he dreaded surrounding himself with rivals and potential successors.

“Others point to the breakdown of his marriage to Marina Wheeler in 2018, insisting that she was his rock, his anchor, his source of psychological stability and political sense.

“But perhaps there’s a simpler explanation, less grounded in amateur psychology, but none the less thematically satisfying.

“It may be that Boris Johnson’s capacity to play the British Reagan vanished some time between midnight and dawn on 24 June 2016, as it became clear that Britain had voted to leave the European Union.”

Mr Sandbrook said that Remainers vowed neither to forgive nor to forget Boris’s role in ditching the bloc.

He goes as far as to say that Europhiles blamed Johnson over and above Nigel Farage and Michael Gove.

Since the referendum, he adds, none of the roles into which the Prime Minister has tried to fit has worked out.

The expert continued: “So perhaps, in the end, he was just another victim of Brexit. As a former classical scholar, he might appreciate the irony.”

The comments come with former Brexit minister Lord Frost urged Mr Johnson to quit as Prime Minister before he takes the Government and the Conservative Party “down with him”.

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Lord Frost, who also served as the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator under Mr Johnson’s premiership, said the Prime Minister’s place in history will be secure as “one of the past century’s most consequential prime ministers”.

The former Cabinet minister warned: “If he leaves now, before chaos descends, that reputation is what will be remembered. If he hangs on, he risks taking the party and the Government down with him.”

“That’s why it is time for him to go. If he does, he can still hand on to a new team, one that is determined to defend and seek the opportunities of Brexit, one that is able to win the next election convincingly.

“That is in the Conservative Party’s interest, in Leave voters’ interest, and in the national interest. It needs to happen.”

Lord Frost quit the Government with immediate effect in mid-December, citing its “current direction of travel”, amongst other things.

He wrote in The Telegraph: “I resigned from the Government on a matter of principle.”

“Last night Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak did the same. Other Cabinet ministers now need to consider whether they are truly happy with the current direction of travel.”

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