nEven preserving the climate will not give Boris Johnson room to breathe. When he traveled to Glasgow on Wednesday to give a boost to the negotiations, the opposition accused him of just wanting to escape “controversy felt”. At a press conference at COP26, the Prime Minister was bombarded with questions about the misconduct of Conservative MPs to the point where he was asked to reassure the international public that Britain “was not remotely a corrupt country”.
While many still talk about “a storm in a glass of water,” others see the political end of Johnson’s approach. Even the pro-government Daily Telegraph wondered, “How did you decline so quickly?” Anger about the “perceived” crisis is also mixed with anger at the administration of Brexit and the party’s social democratization. But the moral debate hits conservatives at a particularly sensitive point.
Johnson’s rescue attempt failed
The allegations fit a decades-old pattern that Johnson wanted to overcome by opening up to the socially disadvantaged. With the two cases discussed, that of former Environment Secretary Owen Patterson and former Attorney General Jeffrey Cox, the ugly image of conservatives going into politics to make money has been restored.
Patterson, who has since resigned from his parliamentary term, has been accused of a combination of interests by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner after repeatedly arranging for two companies that pay him as an adviser. After Johnson failed in an attempt to save fellow party members from suspension by reforming the parliamentary supervisory authority, the whole debate erupted.
The focus is now on Cox, whose incredible detail is known every day. The lawyer not only defended companies his government suspected of money laundering, but also spent weeks in the Virgin Islands and participated – rarely – from the Caribbean in voting in the House of Commons. The Guardian has calculated that Cox has earned more than seven million euros on the side in his 16 years in parliament.
Apparently, Cox correctly mentioned income, but questions are directed at his understanding of Parliament. Johnson defended the fundamental right to outside work. Citizens wanted “experienced representatives of the world,” which is why the system has proven itself over the centuries.
Acceptance from the Minister of Finance
However, he has spoken in favor of sanctions where the rules are violated and in favor of “appropriate sanctions” if MPs “should not prioritize the interests of their constituents”. The Parliamentary Standards Committee is now examining whether Cox skipped votes due to legal activities, but also whether he applied for support for a second rented home.
The opposition has been sniffing the morning breeze for as long as they can be angry, but Johnson is also defending. Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt, who is often critical of the prime minister, said the excitement and devastating public impression documented the work of British democracy. He said that there are few countries that have such strict controls on their representatives. Treasurer Rishi Sunak tried to take the pressure off the debate on Thursday with an acknowledgment: “The government has to say we have to do better than last week, and we know that.”
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