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13 January 2022

If Boris Johnson goes, he would be the shortest-lived prime minister this century

Johnson has so far had a shorter premiership than Gordon Brown and Theresa May.

By Nick Ferris

Boris Johnson’s premiership is on a knife-edge. At least nine staff parties held by Conservative Party leaders during lockdowns are currently under investigation by the senior civil servant Sue Gray. This is the same woman whose investigation into top Theresa May ally Damian Green led to him being sacked for lying about pornography on his work computer in 2017.

Wednesday (12 January) saw leaders of all three main opposition parties call for the Prime Minister’s resignation, after Johnson admitted at Prime Minister’s Questions to attending a May 2020 “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street garden during the national lockdown. The Prime Minister cut a forlorn figure, while leader of the opposition Keir Starmer was at his incisive best.

Whether Johnson stays or goes remains up in the air. But Gray has said she will complete her investigation “as soon as possible”, reportedly by next week. If the results lead to either his ousting or resignation, then Johnson’s premiership would go down in the annals as being the fifth shortest since 1900, shorter than both those of Gordon Brown and Theresa May. 

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