'Is The Party Over?': Boris Johnson Mauled On Newspaper Front Pages

Heat the prime minister faces from even his own MPs is reflected in the national media.
Tory benches look thin as ministers defend the PM.
Tory benches look thin as ministers defend the PM.
PA Media

Boris Johnson is to face MPs amid furious demands from Tories to come clean over his attendance at a reported “bring your own booze” party – but the UK’s national newspapers were already painting a picture of a prime minister on borrowed time.

The PM will make his first public appearance on Wednesday since the leak of an email from his aide Martin Reynolds inviting Downing Street staff to the gathering in May 2020.

The disclosure triggered a new wave of public anger following the reports last year of parties in the run up to Christmas 2020, with Tory MPs openly warning Johnson his position will be “untenable” if he has been shown to have lied.

Downing Street has refused to say if he was present at the May event, despite reports he and his fiancee (now wife), Carrie Symonds, were among around 30 people to attend at a time when such gatherings were banned.

Ahead of prime minister’s questions in the Commons, Johnson was facing some of the most hostile headlines of his premiership – even among the more “friendly” publications.

The Daily Mail (“Is the party over for PM?”), The Guardian (“Angry Tory MPs urge PM to come clean over party”) and The Sun (“It’s my party and I’ll lie low if I want to”) go with the same paparazzi photo of Johnson in a rain-lashed car – echoing infamous photos of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May’s departures from office.

The Daily Mirror (“The party’s over, Boris”), The Daily Telegraph (“Johnson losing Tory support” – plus a front page picture of isolated junior minister, Michael Ellis, in the Commons), the Metro (“Contempt for the victims”), the Financial Times (“Johnson faces ‘potentially terminal’ showdown over Downing Street parties”) and the i (“PM’s future in jeopardy as Tories rage at lockdown drinks party”) are in a similar place.

The Daily Star goes with the same story but uses a quote from 1970s political satire ‘Yes, Prime Minister’.

Meanwhile, The Times (“Say sorry or doom us all, ministers tell Johnson”) and the Daily Express (“Don’t blow it now, PM!”) are perhaps the most sympathetic.


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