Scandals piling up: Boris Johnson under pressure

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in trouble due to a series of unpleasant revelations. Most recently, reports have surfaced that he said last autumn that he wanted "no more f-ing lockdowns - let the bodies pile high in their thousands". At least some of the details came from his former top adviser Dominic Cummings, who left Downing Street in November on bad terms with Johnson. How damaging will the scandals be?

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Jutarnji list (HR) /

Mudslinging on Downing Street

The air in London is thick with accusations and scandals, Jutarnji List explains:

“Among them are unanswered questions about who footed the bill for the luxurious refurbishment of Johnson's Downing Street flat, controversies over his comments that he would rather see the 'bodies pile high in their thousands' than order a lockdown, his war against his former chief adviser Dominic Cummings, as well as concerns about the government's lobbying policies. ... Cummings is also expected to criticise Johnson for his conduct during the pandemic. ... But many question whether Cummings, who became caught up in a web of lies last year after he was caught violating the lockdown, can be trusted.”

Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

Revenge campaign has only just begun

Boris Johnson's character flaws will be his undoing, the Wiener Zeitung also predicts:

“Every week new malversations come to light. ... Johnson is accusing his ex-adviser Dominic Cummings of waging a revenge campaign against him by leaking internal information. It's quite possible that this is true, because Cummings was fired by Johnson at the end of 2020. ... In the Vote Leave campaign, in which Johnson was a central figure, Cummings used bare-faced lies to stir up pro-Brexit sentiment. ... It was always foreseeable that Johnson's character flaws would one day be his undoing. The coming weeks will be hard for Johnson: Cummings' revenge campaign has only just begun.”

The Guardian (GB) /

PM could soon be history

Johnson's support within the Tory party may soon collapse, The Guardian believes:

“MPs returning to parliament this week after a weekend out on the doorstep say constituents have started to voice the issue of the flat refurbishment, along with Tory infighting. ... Johnson didn't win the support of his party because he has close individual ties within it. In fact, he doesn't have much in the way of a loyal camp of MPs. What keeps him in place is the fact that he is viewed as a winner. If the Cummings row changes this, the prime minister will have a real reason to worry.”

The Sun (GB) /

Deeds count more than words

The Sun roundly rejects the criticism of Johnson's statements regarding Covid policy:

“With hindsight, Boris might have kept his mouth zipped. But he surely had the right to believe he was speaking ­privately, among trusted ­colleagues - as any Prime Minister or chief executive would expect. There was no way he thought he would be betrayed by any of those allowed into this inner sanctum - least of all his right-hand man and consigliere, Dominic Cummings. More to the point, actions speak louder than words. There WAS a second lockdown. It DID save lives.”