Boris Johnson: ‘Psychological Transformation’ will not happen

The British Prime Minister said there would be no “psychological transformation” in his character after defeats in by-elections

Johnson appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today program after a tough few days for the Prime Minister, who had faced two by-election defeats and renewed calls for his resignation.

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Boris Johnson said that a psychological change in his character will not take place

What did Boris Johnson say on Radio 4?

Boris Johnson spoke to Mishal Husain on BBC Radio 4 from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, where he is attending a summit of Commonwealth leaders.

The Prime Minister said that he “humbly and sincerely” accepts criticism, but that he also needs to distinguish between “criticism that really matters and criticism that doesn’t matter”.

When Johnson was asked about Dowden’s statement in his resignation letter that business could not go on as usual, the Prime Minister said: “If you say you want me to undergo some kind of psychological transformation, I think our listeners would know that this is not the case it will happen.

“What you can do and what government should do and what I want to do is change, reform and improve our systems and our economy.”

Conservative Party leader Oliver Dowden resigned after two by-election defeats

He added that voters were “tired of hearing talk about me” and wanted to focus on the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine.

Husain asked Johnson if there was anything that would make him resign as prime minister, to which he said giving up Ukraine would make him resign.

When asked why he didn’t resign after the vote of confidence, Johnson said, “Let’s look at this in a more cheerful way, if that’s possible.”

In fact, I have received a new mandate from my colleagues and will continue to deliver.”

Why is Boris Johnson facing resignation calls?

There have been allegations of fresh attempts by backbenchers to unseat Boris Johnson after the Conservatives’ double defeat in the June 23 by-election.

In the Wakefield by-election, Conservative Nadeem Ahmed lost to Labour’s Simon Lightwood by 4,925 votes.

In the 2019 election, Conservative Imran Ahmad Khan took control of the traditionally red-walled seat from Labour’s Mary Creagh.

By-elections were called after Khan was convicted of sexually assaulting children and expelled from the Conservative Party.

Labor leader Keir Starmer and MP Simon Lightwood celebrate their victory in the June 24 by-election

The Conservatives also lost the Tiverton and Honiton by-elections in Devon, more than halving their vote from 2019.

Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Foord received 53% of the vote on Friday, beating Conservative candidate Helen Hurford.

After those losses, Conservative Party leader Oliver Dowden resigned, saying that “someone has to take responsibility”.

In a public statement on the by-election defeats, Johnson said the results were “not brilliant” but added that he would focus on “making a difference for the people of this country.”

The election defeat followed months of criticism of Johnson for his role at Partygate, for which he was fined £50, and concerns about the cost of living crisis and rising inflation.

Allegations surfaced this month that Johnson was trying to secure his then-girlfriend Carrie Symonds, now his wife, a senior position at the Foreign Office – on June 20 Downing Street confirmed she had asked The Times not to admit the story publish. The newspaper agreed.

On June 6, Johnson won a vote of confidence despite 148 of his own MPs voting against him. Boris Johnson: ‘Psychological Transformation’ will not happen


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