Wolverhampton residents: PM was naive over handling of Chris Pincher situation

Boris Johnson has “got a good heart” but has acted naively over his handling of the Chris Pincher situation, residents in Wolverhampton have said.

Jane Bradbury
Jane Bradbury

The Prime Minister is once again facing a crisis which could de-rail his premiership after he was forced to apologise over his handling of Mr Pincher’s scandal.

It emerged Mr Johnson had heard about the allegations of “inappropriate” conduct surrounding the Walsall-born MP, who grew up in Wombourne, in 2019.

But he went on to appoint Mr Pincher to other roles, with the news leading to then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid both resigning.

Now people in Wolverhampton have had their say on whether the Conservative leader should continue to be Prime Minister after a tough few days for his tenure.

Jane Bradbury, from Tettenhall, said she “didn’t know” whether Mr Johnson should stand down – but said he had put himself in some very difficult circumstances.

She said: “The honest answer is I don’t know. I do think he has put himself in a very difficult situation and I can’t see how he could stay.

“But a lot of people do support him and they do say they’ll stay (in his cabinet) so I’m very much on the fence to what should be done. I don’t think he’s done himself any favours, but he has the character to ride all these things out as well.”

The 53-year-old added it was the “Government machine” rather than the Prime Minister himself who kept on confusing the story initially, but said she was still undecided.

Meanwhile John Timmins, also from Tettenhall, said Boris Johnson had been unfortunate during his tenure – with the impacts of Covid-19 – but said he doesn’t expect him to last much longer.

John Timmins

He said: “I think he has been a bit unfortunate, he’s had one of the worst three years in charge (with Covid-19 and other issues) and it just seems one problem after the other.

“I think he has got a good a heart. I think naivety is the word I’d use, he seems too laid back but that’s from far away – you don’t know what’s going on up close. But I think they’ve been out to get him.”

“I think maybe another week (how long Boris will last),” the 81-year-old added. “But again, they’ve been out to get him for six months.”

Amanda Enever, from Bradmore, added her voice to the many appealing for the Prime Minister to go – rather than be removed by members of the Conservative Party.

The 58-year-old said: “I think he probably should (go). The last few years have been unprecedented and it has been a very very difficult for any Prime Minister. But over the course of the last 12 months, and weeks, it’s just seemed to get worse and worse.

“There are only so many times you can mislead the voters and that’s why I think he should go, he should bow out gracefully rather than him being ‘dragged out’ (by his party).”

Meanwhile Nishcal Pokharel, in his 20s, added he thought the Prime Minister should be given more time.

Nishcal Pokharel

Mr Johnson said his handling of Mr Pincher’s situation was a “mistake and I apologise for it” – and added there was no place in the Government for people who abuse their position of power.

His authority had already been damaged by a confidence vote which saw 41 per cent of his MPs vote against him. The loss of crunch by-elections in Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield in June triggered the resignation of party chairman Oliver Dowden.

And on Tuesday the Prime Minister was hit by another double-blow with Mr Javid and Mr Sunak, viewed as a potential successor to Mr Johnson, both resigning in the space of around 10 minutes.

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