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Officials ‘raised concerns with Buckingham Palace’ about Boris Johnson’s conduct

18 Sep 2023 2 minute read
Queen Elizabeth II greets Prime Minister Boris Johnson at an audience at Buckingham Palace. Photo Dominic Lipinski PA Images

Senior officials wanted Queen Elizabeth II to raise concerns about Boris Johnson’s mid-pandemic conduct in office during their private conversations, according to a documentary.

The Government figures held a number of phone calls and communications with Buckingham Palace about the prospect, the BBC report says.

The claims are featured in the second episode of the Laura Kuenssberg: State Of Chaos series, exploring the turmoil in Westminster between 2016 and 2022.

Tackling coronavirus in May 2020, significant tensions were spilling over between Mr Johnson’s political team and the Civil Service.

Sources told the documentary that senior officials expressed their fears about the then-prime minister’s conduct to the palace.

Concerns

The officials reportedly hoped Queen Elizabeth II would raise her concerns with Mr Johnson during their private audiences.

One source claimed Mr Johnson “had to be reminded of the constitution”.

Dominic Cummings, who served as his top adviser, and the Civil Service chief at the time Sir, now Lord, Mark Sedwill, clashed more than once.

Helen MacNamara, a former deputy cabinet secretary, declined to discuss the calls but said they had been “systematically in real trouble” during the period.

After Mr Johnson was treated in hospital for Covid-19, she said there was “extreme” talk in his political team about the failings of Whitehall.

She said they were taking a “kind of smash everything up, shut it all down, start again” attitude.

Mr Johnson had already caused trouble with the palace when in 2019 he suspended the Commons for five weeks ahead of the Brexit deadline.

His advice to “prorogue” Parliament to the Queen was found to have been unlawful by the Supreme Court.

Buckingham Palace and Downing Street have been asked to comment.


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Jeff
Jeff
5 months ago

And people and press that supported him and allowed him free rein are still in power, still in powerful positions and same people supported Truss, then Sunak. We do not have a government, we have a crime syndicate. And BJ, his past comments define him, and this brushes off on his supporters.

Rob
Rob
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

He still has a lot of supporters though, so I can see him trying to wriggle his way back into politics. Find a safe tory seat to stand at the next election to get back into Westminster, stand for tory leadership and the blame the inevitable defeat on Sunak. Thats the problem with right wing populists, they are not easy to get rid of. Look at Donald Trump.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

The King should banish him from the Kingdom and the Pope excommunicate him from the Church…

A stockade on St Helena his final resting place…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Ok, make it 2 shepherd huts, one each for Fat Shanks and Call me Dave, a bat cave for Truss, a thatched cottage for May and an ashram for Rishi Ji…

Last edited 5 months ago by Mab Meirion
Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
5 months ago

This is why the Monarchy is so vital in a flourishing democracy.

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

Such a shame that the UK is not a ” flourishing democracy”. The last couple of prime ministers have been elected by the votes of 172 thousand paid up members of the Tory party, in a country which has 47.6 million registered voters, who were not offered a vote.

Bachgen o Lerpwl
5 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Compared to the vast majority of the world. It is flourishing

CapM
CapM
5 months ago

On a different issue an hour ago you criticised a commenter by stating
“You are not comparing like with like.”

Now you suggest that regarding democracy the UK should be compared with the rest of the world.
Comparing like with like that is democracy in the UK with democracy in the Nordic countries and Western Europe we aren’t flourishing.

Bachgen o Lerpwl
5 months ago
Reply to  CapM

I said the world not cherry picked countries.

CapM
CapM
5 months ago

The Democracymatrix website places the UK at seventeenth.
Which is below all Nordic and Benelux countries, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain and Estonia. These countries for numerous reasons are similar and comparable to the UK.

However we’re much better than middle ranking countries like Burma if you don’t want to cherry pick..

There has been a lot of work done identifying evidence that indicates that the UK is undergoing a process known as ‘democratic backsliding’.
“Flourishing” isn’t really an appropriate description..

CapM
CapM
5 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

I can’t be sure that you really mean this or it’s satire If you remember That Johnson’s advice to the monarch to prorogue parliament was found to be unlawful by the Supreme Court. The monarch took no part in maintaining a ‘flourishing democracy’ and what was( in the absence of a written constitution) actually vital to democracy was that the case was brought to the attention of the Supreme Court by Gina Miller and the Scottish Nationalist Party’s Joanna Cherry. If you remember this happening then your comment’s clearly satirical. If you don’t remember it happening then perhaps removing the… Read more »

Bachgen o Lerpwl
5 months ago
Reply to  CapM

You need to try and find objective truth.

CapM
CapM
5 months ago

I don’t understand that comment. Can you explain. Diolch.

Bachgen o Lerpwl
5 months ago
Reply to  CapM

I don’t think you ever will.

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