Moscow rejoices over Boris Johnson’s ‘inglorious’ downfall | Boris Johnson News

Russian politicians lined as much as have a good time the downfall of Boris Johnson, casting the British chief as a “silly clown” who had lastly acquired his simply reward for arming Ukraine in opposition to Russia.

Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit marketing campaign who gained a convincing electoral victory in 2019, introduced on Thursday that he was resigning after he was deserted by ministers and plenty of of his Conservative get together lawmakers over a sequence of scandals.

The Kremlin mentioned it didn’t like Johnson, both.

“He doesn’t like us, we don’t like him both,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned shortly earlier than Johnson introduced his resignation exterior Downing Road.

Russians have been brutal of their evaluation of Johnson, who just lately advised colleagues that he wished to remain in energy longer than Margaret Thatcher – a gentle foe of the previous Soviet Union who served as British prime minister from 1979 to 1990.

Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska mentioned on Telegram that it was an “inglorious finish” for a “silly clown” whose conscience could be blighted by “tens of 1000’s of lives on this mindless battle in Ukraine”.

“The clown goes,” mentioned Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s decrease home of parliament.

“He is likely one of the major ideologues of the warfare in opposition to Russia till the final Ukrainian. European leaders ought to take into consideration the place such a coverage leads,” Volodin mentioned.

Maria Zakharova, the highest spokeswoman in Russia’s overseas ministry, mentioned Johnson’s fall was a symptom of the decline of the West, which she mentioned was riven by political, ideological and financial disaster.

“The ethical of the story is: don’t search to destroy Russia,” Zakharova mentioned. “Russia can’t be destroyed. You may break your enamel on it – after which choke on them.”

‘Comrades-in-arms turned him in’

In his speech asserting he was stepping down as Conservative Celebration chief however deliberate to remain on as prime minister till a alternative is picked, Johnson addressed the folks of Ukraine, pledging that Britain would “proceed to again your battle for freedom for so long as it takes”.

Even earlier than Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Johnson had repeatedly criticised Putin – casting him as a ruthless and presumably irrational Kremlin chief who was threatening the world together with his loopy ambitions.

After the invasion, Johnson made Britain one of many largest Western supporters of Ukraine, sending weapons, slapping among the most extreme sanctions in trendy historical past on Russia and urging Ukraine to defeat Russia’s huge armed forces. He has twice travelled to Kyiv to fulfill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Johnson’s assist of Ukraine has been so staunch that he has been affectionately generally known as “Borys Johnsoniuk” by some in Kyiv. He generally ended his speeches with “Slava Ukraini” – or “glory to Ukraine”.

Whereas Johnson’s political issues mounted in Britain, they have been largely unknown in Ukraine.

“The scandal was comparatively unnoticed within the Ukrainian media strictly due to Boris Johnson’s reputation that he gained due to his place on Ukraine,” Igar Tyshkevich, a Kyiv-based political analyst, advised Al Jazeera.

Tyshkevich mentioned Ukrainians favoured Johnson “due to his visits to Ukraine, [and] as a result of he was one of many first European heavyweights to come back to Ukraine through the warfare”.

“The detrimental there may be on him within the UK, merely doesn’t attain right here. Comparatively talking, a translated story [about the scandals] merely gained’t discover its reader,” Tyshkevich mentioned.

Johnson even spoke stilted Russian in February, telling the Russian those who he didn’t imagine the “useless and bloody” warfare was of their identify.

Russia repeatedly dismissed him as a poorly ready jester making an attempt to punch far past Britain’s true weight on this planet.

Zakharova, the overseas ministry spokeswoman, gleefully portrayed Johnson because the creator of his personal downfall.

“Boris Johnson was hit by a boomerang launched by himself,” she mentioned. “His comrades-in-arms turned him in.”

UK by-elections: Johnson suffers blow as Tories lose two seats | Boris Johnson News

Polls in Wakefield, and Tiverton and Honiton had been first since prime minister narrowly survived a vote of confidence this month.

The UK’s Conservative Social gathering has been defeated in two parliamentary by-elections, in losses that dealt a blow to the management of embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson and prompted the resignation of the celebration’s chairman.

The polls on Thursday within the West Yorkshire seat of Wakefield and the South West seat of Tiverton and Honiton had been the primary since Johnson narrowly survived a vote of confidence this month, through which 41 % of his parliamentary colleagues voted to take away him.

The Conservatives misplaced a majority of greater than 24,000 votes in Tiverton and Honiton, in a deeply Conservative a part of England’s South West, defeated by the centrist Liberal Democrats who secured a majority of greater than 6,000. In the meantime, the primary opposition Labour Social gathering reclaimed Wakefield in Northern England.

The losses recommend the electoral coalition Johnson introduced collectively on the 2019 nationwide election could also be fracturing whereas rising jitters amongst restive Conservatives who already fear the ebullient however erratic and divisive Johnson is not an electoral asset.

Johnson has come below intense strain to resign after he was fined for breaking COVID-19 lockdown guidelines after a police investigation into gatherings at his Downing Avenue places of work.

Following the losses in Tiverton and Honiton, and Wakefield, Conservative Social gathering Chairman Oliver Dowden resigned, saying issues needed to change within the celebration. The contests had been triggered by the high-profile resignations of Conservative politicians – one who admitted watching pornography in parliament, and one other discovered responsible of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

“Yesterday’s parliamentary by-elections are the most recent in a run of very poor outcomes for our celebration. Our supporters are distressed and dissatisfied by current occasions, and I share their emotions,” Dowden mentioned in a resignation letter to Johnson.

“We can’t keep on with enterprise as ordinary. Anyone should take duty and I’ve concluded that, in these circumstances, it might not be proper for me to stay in workplace.”

Though below his celebration’s guidelines he can’t be challenged with a no-confidence movement for an additional 12 months, MPs fearing for their very own futures might resolve to scale back the grace interval to result in one other vote.

Labour party candidate Simon Lightwood
The winner of the Wakefield by-election, Labour celebration candidate Simon Lightwood [Phil Noble/Reuters]

The Liberal Democrats mentioned their win at Tiverton and Honiton was the largest ever majority to be overturned at a British parliamentary by-election, suggesting that different Conservative politicians could also be susceptible to shedding their seats within the celebration’s southern heartlands.

Successful candidate Richard Foord mentioned in his victory speech that Johnson ought to “go, and go now”.

“With each day Boris Johnson clings to workplace, he brings additional disgrace, chaos and neglect,” he mentioned.

Johnson on Thursday rejected the suggestion that he may resign if the Conservatives misplaced each seats, saying it was frequent for governing events to lose mid-term by-elections.

In the meantime, Labour chief Keir Starmer mentioned in a press release the lead to Wakefield was “a transparent judgement on a Conservative Social gathering that has run out of vitality and concepts”.

“Wakefield has proven the nation has misplaced confidence within the Tories,” he mentioned, referring to the Conservative Social gathering.

Johnson led the Conservatives to their greatest majority in three a long time on the 2019 nationwide election, profitable reward from his celebration for his means to win in historically Labour-voting areas in north and central England.

Nonetheless, the lack of Wakefield may point out that his means to win once more in these areas on the subsequent nationwide election, anticipated in 2024, has additionally been compromised.

UK lawmakers approve probe into PM Boris Johnson’s ‘Partygate’ | Boris Johnson News

Lawmakers triggered an investigation into whether or not Johnson lied to the UK Parliament about breaking COVID-19 lockdown guidelines.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a blow to his authority when lawmakers ordered a parliamentary investigation into his previous denials that he broke coronavirus restrictions by attending unlawful gatherings through the pandemic.

Johnson on Thursday confronted stinging criticism from his personal Conservative social gathering and an influential former ally known as on him to stop over what has turn out to be often known as the “Partygate” scandal, which has brought on widespread public anger.

The investigation will look into whether or not Johnson knowingly misled the Parliament of the UK – ordinarily a resigning offence if confirmed. However a bullish Johnson – on a two-day trip to India – insisted he was not going wherever.

In India, Johnson vowed he wouldn’t stop and supposed to battle the following basic election – nonetheless seemingly at the least two years away. “I perceive folks’s emotions,” he instructed Sky Information.

However he stated of stepping apart: “I don’t suppose that’s the proper factor to do. What I’m decided to do is make certain we proceed with our agenda.”

The investigation by Parliament’s privileges committee will start as soon as London police have completed their very own probe and an inside report on the scandal is revealed in full.

The parliamentary probe piles extra stress on the prime minister, whose grip on energy has been shaken by claims he flouted the pandemic guidelines he imposed on the nation, then repeatedly did not uphold them.

One nationwide survey this week discovered about two-thirds of the general public spoke negatively about Johnson, in comparison with simply 16 p.c positively, with the phrase “liar” essentially the most generally shared response.

‘Precept below assault’

The transfer was instigated by the opposition Labour Celebration and handed after the federal government deserted efforts to get Conservative lawmakers to dam it. Johnson’s Conservatives have a considerable majority in Parliament, however many lawmakers are uneasy with the prime minister’s behaviour.

Labour chief Keir Starmer stated the transfer sought to uphold “the straightforward precept that honesty, integrity and telling the reality matter in our politics”.

“It’s a British precept … guiding members from each political social gathering on this Home,” Starmer stated. “However it’s a precept below assault.”

Johnson was fined 50 kilos ($65) by police final week for attending his personal celebration in his workplace in June 2020, when folks in Britain have been barred from assembly up with family and friends, and even visiting dying family. Johnson is the primary British prime minister ever discovered to have damaged the legislation whereas in workplace.

Additional penalties for different occasions might observe, however police stated on Thursday that they won’t announce any new fines issued till after native elections on Might 5.

Johnson has since apologised however denied he knowingly broke the principles. His shifting defence – initially saying there have been no unlawful gatherings, then claiming it “didn’t happen to me” that his birthday occasion was a celebration – has drawn derision and outrage from opponents who known as for him to stop.

“The reality is easy and it’s this – he lied to keep away from getting caught and as soon as he obtained caught he lied once more,” Scottish Nationwide Celebration lawmaker Ian Blackford stated within the Home of Commons.

To mount a problem to Johnson’s management, 54 Conservative lawmakers should write letters expressing no confidence in him. That will result in a confidence vote and, if he misplaced, a contest to exchange him.

What is on the agenda as UK’s Boris Johnson visits India? | Boris Johnson News

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to entice India in direction of the West and wean the nation off its dependence on Russian oil and arms because the battle in Ukraine rages on.

Johnson arrived in India on Thursday, starting his two-day journey in Gujarat, the house state of his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.

“As we face threats to our peace and prosperity from autocratic states, it’s important that democracies and mates stick collectively,” Johnson instructed reporters previous to his long-awaited trip to the South Asia nation.

Boris Johnson in India
Johnson scatters rose petals on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad [Ben Stansall/Reuters]

Modi has expressed concern in regards to the Ukraine battle and urged an finish to it. However New Delhi’s reluctance to sentence its Chilly Struggle ally Moscow on the worldwide stage has led Western leaders to foyer India to alter its stance.

India’s high oil agency, the Indian Oil Company, bought 3 million barrels of crude from Russia in March. Final week, US President Joe Biden requested Modi to not improve purchases of Russian oil.

New Delhi has made no agency commitments to Biden, and Indian international minister S Jaishankar highlighted Europe’s dependency on Russian oil.

“Most likely our complete purchases for the month can be lower than what Europe does in a day,” Jaishankar mentioned at a information convention in Washington, DC, final week.

Russia additionally stays India’s key defence accomplice, with the Kremlin exporting arms worth $6.6bn to New Delhi between 2016 and 2020.

Johnson’s spokesperson confused that the British chief had no plans to “lecture” Modi on the matter however would focus on strengthening safety cooperation with India by providing various choices for defence procurement and vitality.

Vivek Mishra, a fellow on the Observer Analysis Basis think-tank (ORF) in New Delhi, says Ukraine will determine tangentially in Johnson’s talks with the Indian leaders.

“I don’t assume the UK will attempt too onerous to steer India to align with the West in isolating anyone nation. I feel India’s place on isolation is kind of clear,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

Boris Johnson in India
Johnson spins khadi on a charkha (spinning wheel) throughout his go to to the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad [Ben Stansall/Reuters]

Michael Kugelman, senior fellow for South Asia on the Wilson Middle in Washington, DC, shared the same view.

“Nobody has succeeded in getting India to alter its place on Russia and Johnson gained’t both. New Delhi’s place is kind of immutable,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

“What we are able to anticipate is for Johnson, like different like-minded Western leaders, to name for India to ease up on its commerce with Russia. However the message can be delivered as a pitch, not an ultimatum.”

Anil Trigunayat, former Indian ambassador to Malta, Jordan and Libya, instructed Al Jazeera India may also use this assembly to know UK’s stance on China and Pakistan – India’s two primary rivals.

Bolstering commerce and funding

In addition to geopolitics, commerce and funding bulletins are a key precedence for Johnson, as he tries to bolster post-Brexit Britain’s ties with India.

Starting his go to from the enterprising metropolis of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Johnson’s workplace mentioned in a statement that UK and Indian companies will affirm greater than a billion British kilos ($1.3bn) in new investments and export offers in areas from software program engineering to well being, creating virtually 11,000 jobs throughout Britain.

Boris Johnson in India
The message written by Johnson within the Gandhi Ashram’s visitor e-book, Ahmedabad [Amit Dave/Reuters]

Collaborations within the science and know-how sector are additionally on the agenda, with the UK trying to affirm a Digital Well being partnership by means of a joint funding fund for Indian deep-tech and AI start-ups, new AI scholarships for Indian college students collectively funded by the UK authorities’s Chevening programme and India’s Adani Group, and a 6 million British level ($7.8m) funding from AI healthcare specialists, Qure-ai.

“For India and post-Brexit UK, the finalisation of a Free Commerce Settlement (FTA), enhanced maritime cooperation and a robust partnership within the Indo-Pacific is necessary,” ORF’s Mishra instructed Al Jazeera.

“As such, either side would need that this go to opinions their commerce and funding progress and charts a course for a greater realisation of the Roadmap 2030, which the 2 international locations agreed to in Might final yr,” he added.

In Might 2021, India and UK laid out a roadmap looking for to revitalise their commerce, funding and technological collaborations and bolster defence and safety cooperation within the Indo-Pacific area. This roadmap is anticipated to be fine-tuned after Johnson’s assembly with Modi in New Delhi on Friday, the place extra bulletins about the way forward for FTAs are additionally on the agenda.

“Since Brexit, the UK has been eager to have a complete commerce take care of India. Whereas that’s possible, what its contours seem like as India additionally enhances its financial engagement with Russia is but to be seen,” ambassador Trigunayat instructed Al Jazeera.

Inner points to be addressed?

Amid enterprise and international safety discussions, Johnson’s assembly with Modi comes amid the “Partygate” scandal within the UK and violence against Muslims in India.

However ORF’s Mishra thinks Johnson wouldn’t need to delve into India’s inside points.

“Johnson himself has a lot to reply for the ‘Partygate’ scandal again residence. Quite the opposite, his stress on widespread values, commerce, defence, Indo-Pacific and meals safety tells me that the agenda is kind of severe on making bilateral deliverables depend through the go to,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

Kugelman echoed the same view and highlighted that Modi, like Johnson, would additionally need to set the contours of the way forward for the connection – one which’s necessary for each the international locations.

“On this age of summitry and private diplomacy, any assembly of world leaders is imbued with significance. This go to is very necessary as a result of it comes at a second when India and the UK are taking sharply completely different positions on the Ukraine battle, arguably the largest geopolitical problem of the second,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

“Modi may additionally need to verify in on diaspora points – at all times an necessary matter for Delhi, particularly when coping with a rustic just like the UK with such a big Indian diaspora.”

Kugelman mentioned Johnson visiting Gujarat, Modi’s residence state, is critical. “This implies there’s so much at stake for Modi personally, which makes success an crucial.”