LONDON: Britain’s Boris Johnson pledged on Wednesday to fight on, saying he would not quit as prime minister despite support visibly seeping away from him with a stream of resignations.
Johnson, who was looking increasingly isolated, used a weekly question-and-answer session in parliament to try to tough it out, repeating his justifications for the latest scandal that triggered resignations from his government.
Earlier, he tried to reassert his authority by quickly appointing Nadhim Zahawi, a rising star in the Conservative Party widely credited for the successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, as finance minister.
But his performance at prime minister’s questions was met with a muted response and, on occasion, open laughter. One member of Johnson’s own party asked if there would be any circumstances in which he should resign?
He responded that he would only quit if the government could not carry on.
Even some of his own colleagues in his cabinet of top ministers struggled to contain their laughter as the main opposition Labour leader poked fun at his cabinet for being the “the lightweight brigade”.
“When times are tough… is exactly the moment that you’d expect the government to continue with its work, not to walk away… to get on with our job and to focus on the things that matter to the people of this country,” Johnson told parliament.