THERE’S a “lot of concern” about Boris Johnson in Downing Street and some figures feel “it’s just not working” with the Prime Minister, the BBC’s political editor has reported.
Laura Kuenssberg, who is rumoured to be in talks to step down from the role after six years, posted a handful of tweets questioning the Prime Minister after he gave a bizarre speech to the CBI conference.
Johnson’s address had been tipped to focus on green growth and to include policy announcements, but it was overshadowed as he lost his place, rambled about Peppa Pig and made car noises, among other strange behaviours.
Afterwards, asked if he was okay by a BBC reporter, Johnson said he’d “thought it went over well” and that the “vast majority of the points” were understood by the audience.
At times, Kuenssberg has been accused of being too close to government by her critics. She came under particular fire for appearing to defend the Prime Minister’s former senior adviser Dominic Cummings amid news that he’d driven from London to Durham during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Despite this, after the car-crash CBI speech Kuenssberg shared comments from sources who were apparently unhappy with Johnson.
It comes after weeks of sleaze allegations engulfing the party, sparked by the Government’s failed attempt to protect Owen Paterson from being suspended after a lobbying scandal.
It has been a poor few weeks for the governing party, with Johnson forced to stand up at a press conference and deny that the UK is corrupt. Some polls even show the Conservatives falling behind Labour for the first time in nearly a year – although only by one-two percentage points.
In an unusual move, Kuenssberg tweeted high-level criticism of the Prime Minister: “Senior Downing St source says ‘there is a lot of concern inside the building about the PM….It’s just not working. Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it’ll keep getting worse. If they don’t insist, he just won’t do anything about it.’”
Senior Downing St source says “there is a lot of concern inside the building about the PM….It’s just not working. Cabinet needs to wake up and demand serious changes otherwise it’ll keep getting worse. If they don’t insist, he just won’t do anything about it.”
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) November 22, 2021
A few hours before that, the journalist linked to the Peppa Pig World clip and wrote: “Tory MPs were worried last week that No 10 was losing its grip – not sure any of them will feel better if they were watching this morning’s speech …”
Johnson has been heavily criticised for his address to the South Shield audience.
Labour mocked Johnson online, saying “the joke’s not funny any more”, while LibDem leader Ed Davey said: “Businesses are crying out for clarity. Instead, all they got was Boris Johnson rambling on about Peppa Pig.
“It is a perfect metaphor for Johnson’s chaotic, incompetent government as it trashes our economy, but it is not worthy of a British Prime Minister.”