On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he aims to stay in power until the middle of the next decade, despite calls for his resignation, which would make him a leader for a long time. the country’s most in 200 years.
Earlier this month, Johnson survived a vote of confidence by Conservative lawmakers in which 41% of his parliamentary colleagues voted to remove him, and he is under investigation for intentionally misleading him. wrong for parliament.
On Friday, Conservative Party candidates who lost two by-elections held by parliament to replace Conservative incumbents had to resign, one after being found guilty of sexual assault. and the other for viewing pornography in the House of Commons.
The election defeat shows that the widespread voter appeal that helped Johnson win a large majority in parliament in December 2019 could be fractured after a scandal over illegal parties organized Downing Street during the coronavirus shutdown.
Under Conservative rules, their lawmakers cannot formally challenge Johnson for another year, but the discontent or resignation of a string of senior ministers could make his position impossible. can afford.
Britain is also in the midst of its deepest cost of living crisis in decades, with inflation at a 40-year high.
Former party leader Michael Howard said on Friday it was time for Johnson to leave and Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden had resigned following pre-election defeats.
However, Johnson said he wants to serve a third term and stay as prime minister until the mid-2030s to give him time to reduce regional economic disparities and make changes to the legal and immigration systems. British residence.
“Right now, I’m thinking positively about a third term and, you know, what might happen after that. But I’ll revisit it when I get there,” Johnson told reporters. members in Rwanda on the last day of their visit to the Commonwealth summit. .
When asked for his opinion, Johnson said: “As for a third term … this is the mid-2030s.”
Johnson must hold Britain’s next national election in December 2024 and will need to win a third election in 2029.
If he remains in office after early 2031, he will beat Margaret Thatcher’s record as the longest-serving consecutive British prime minister since Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool, who has been in office since 1812. until 1827.
NO CHALLENGE, NO CHANGE?
Johnson told reporters he did not expect to fight another internal challenge from within his party and blamed the by-election defeat in part on months of press coverage of the events. party locked in the center of government.
“People are fed up of hearing about the stuff I’ve crammed, or supposedly stuffed, or whatever, the endless news – perfectly legal but endless -,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Johnson told the BBC that he rejected the notion that he should change his behaviour.
“If you’re saying that you want me to go through some kind of psychological transformation, I think our listeners will know that that’s … not going to happen.”
Johnson declined to comment on a report in The Times that he was planning to get a donor to fund a £150,000 treehouse ($184,000) for his son at the mansion in New York. rural areas provided by the state.
The story comes months after his party was fined for not accurately reporting a donation that helped fund the refurbishment of his Downing Street apartment.
“I won’t comment on non-existent objects,” Johnson said when asked if he planned to use a donor’s money to build the treehouse.
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by David Milliken and Helen Popper)