Boris Johnson delivers Christmas message to the nation
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The Tory leader, who led his party to an emphatic general election win barely two years ago, is reeling from the catastrophic loss of the North Shropshire by-election and buffeted by the rise of the Omicron variant and a consequently sharp spike in Covid cases. His decision to introduce vaccine passports triggered a major Commons rebellion which saw 99 Tory MPs vote against the Government, while he has also faced awkward questions about a string of gatherings last Christmas which critics claim breached lockdown rules.
The poll, carried about by Redfield & Wilton Strategies and commissioned by MailOnline, indicated 60 percent of those asked were in favour of the Conservatives getting rid of Mr Johnson as leader, with 35 percent backing the idea “strongly”.
By contrast, just 15 percent opposed the idea, and of these, just eight percent felt strongly about it.
A quarter – 25 percent – were either neutral, or did not know.
Of Mr Johnson’s possible replacements, Chancellor Rishi Sunak came top of the pile, with 29 percent seeing him as a better option and 14 percent significantly so.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, recently handed the Brexit brief previously held by Lord David Frost until his resignation from the Cabinet earlier this month, was seen as better by 17 percent and significantly better by six percent.
The poll, involving 1,500 adults in Great Britain interviewed online on December 21, also asked Tory voters to choose their preferred leader from a range of candidates, with a third choosing Mr Sunak and just nine percent picking Ms Truss.
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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was seen as being a better bet by 48 percent of those asked, with 25 percent feeling he would be worse.
Mr Johnson faced significant criticism from Express.co.uk readers after admitting he was willing to consider an interim deal with regard to the Northern Ireland Protocol, the controversial mechanism agreed between the EU and the UK to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
In a letter to constituent Dr Timothy Bradshaw, which was subsequently shared with Express.co.uk, Mr Johnson wrote: “Our preference would be to reach a comprehensive solution dealing with all the issues.
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“However, given the gravity and urgency of the difficulties, we have been prepared to consider an interim agreement as a first step to deal with the most acute problems, including trade frictions, subsidy control, and governance.”
Express.co.uk reader Hengist commented: “Betray us Boris by caving to the EU on the NI Protocol and you will lose my vote next time round.
“North Shropshire will be but a pale harbinger of what you can expect if you sell Britain out.”
Meanwhile former UK diplomat Adrian Hill suggested Mr Johnson was struggling in the top job, and tipped Ms Truss to replace him – and install Lord Frost as Foreign Secretary.
Speaking earlier this week, Mr Hill, a former officer in the Royal Engineers who among other diplomatic posts worked as a member of the Channel Tunnel team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the COBRA Committee of the Cabinet Office, told Express.co.uk: “We liked Boris when we spent an evening with him in Sussex – close to the 1066 battlefield.
“But really think Covid took much more out of him than he’s aware.
“I think it’s time we had another woman Prime Minister like the first one, not the second!
“And I think Frosty would make a very good Secretary of State for the FCOD or whatever that stands for these days! Frosty was the strategy guru.
“Let’s get Liz voted as PM and Frosty back fast.”
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