After limping along in the wake of the Partygate investigation, multiple sex scandals and successive policy failures, Boris Johnson is approaching the endgame of his time in Downing Street, according to the papers.
Don’t hold your breath – Owl
Graham Russell www.theguardian.com
“On the brink”, “hanging by a thread” and “Last chance saloon” are just some of the metaphors employed by the headline writers to describe the prime minister’s predicament on Wednesday morning after he was deserted by two of his most senior cabinet ministers.
“Finally” says the banner headline in the Mirror, adding that “after years of backing toxic PM, Sunak & Javid wield knife”.
The Sun has the headline “Last chance saloon” and also paints a bloody, Shakespearean scene by adding that “Boris knifed in day from hell”.
“Can even Boris the Greased Piglet wriggle out of this?”, asks the Mail, adding that their “excoriating” resignation letters damn the prime minister’s lack of “integrity” and “grip”.
The Telegraph clears its front page to cover the crisis in one huge story. Its headline is: “Johnson hanging by a thread as Sunak and Javid walk out” and publishes prominently scathing quotes from their resignation letters. It describes the PM as “scrambling” to shore up his cabinet.
The Times says “Johnson on the brink’” and highlights Rishi Sunak’s words in his resignation letter saying “I’ve been loyal… but we cannot continue like this”.
The Guardian front page says “PM on the brink as Javid and Sunak quit” on what it calls a day of “dramatic walkouts”.
The Financial Times goes with a similar line and what, for the pink ‘un, is the unusual treatment of spreading the story right across the front of the paper. “Johnson on brink as ministers quit”, it says.
“Going! Going! Gone?” says the Metro, and it has the clever line that the prime minister has been caught in a “Pincher movement”.
“The whole rotten lot need to go” says the Record, while the Herald has “Johnson on the brink”.
It’s left to the ever-loyal Express to put a positive spin on the crisis, which it tries to paint as an opportunity for a “liberated” Johnson to lay out his “true blue Tory agenda”, perhaps hinting at past tensions with the former chancellor Sunak. It claims a coup has already failed. The headline: “Boris fights on! Declaring … I’m now free to cut taxes”.