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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 28: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes part in the weekly “Clap for Our Carers” event in Downing Street on May 28, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. For 10 weeks, the public have applauded NHS staff and other key workers from their homes at 8pm every Thursday as part of “Clap for Our Carers”. Annemarie Plas, the founder of the campaign, has now called for an end to the new tradition, suggesting that an annual clap should take its place. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson’s endgame

Boris Johnson’s endgame


Today, Boris Johnson’s political endgame. From his dishonourable honours list to attacking the committee of MPs that concluded he lied to the Commons over Partygate – what damage has he done to his party and Britain’s institutions?

Days before Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list was published, former culture secretary and fervent ally Nadine Dorries had discovered she was not in line for the peerage she had been expecting. 

Blaming “posh boy” prime minister Rishi Sunak, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire announced she would be standing down.  

That same day Johnson followed Dorries out the door, claiming he was being hounded out of politics and branding the inquiry into whether he misled parliament a “kangaroo court”.   

The privileges committee, which has a Labour chair but a Conservative majority, found that Boris Johnson knew the lockdown parties went against guidance when he assured the Commons that all rules were followed. 

Reports at the time suggest he was in line for a suspension of at least 20 days – meaning he would likely face a by-election if he wanted to return as an MP. After his outburst the sanction was raised to 90 days, along with the loss of his parliamentary pass. 

In one week, but in two key ways, Johnson caused further chaos for the government and Britain’s institutions.

When eventually the honours list was published, Dorries’ name did not appear; neither did three other MPs who had been expecting their elevation to the Lords.   

In total, eight of the people Boris Johnson put forward for peerages were rejected, leaving just seven on the final list to be elevated to the UK’s House of Lords. But some of those who did make it through raised eyebrows. 

Like 29-year-old Charlotte Owen, who is set to be the youngest life peer in UK history. As Tortoise revealed recently, her short career is in fact even shorter than believed.  

There’s also Shaun Bailey, an unsuccessful Conservative parliamentary and London mayoral candidate, who was photographed at a party during one of England’s lockdowns. 

Johnson is now no longer an MP. Instead he continues his lucrative career of giving million-dollar speeches and writing columns for the Daily Mail – reportedly for “high six-figures”. 

But his former colleagues are left to pick up the pieces, battling by-elections that no one in the Conservative party wanted and most fear they will lose. Johnson may be out, but the damage he caused continues to ripple throughout the country.