Boris Johnson warned he could 'pay the price' for 'bull-in-a-china-shop' leadership style

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets shoppers and shopkeepers during a visit to his constituency in Uxbridge

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets shoppers and shopkeepers during a visit to his constituency in Uxbridge - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson could "pay the price" for his "bull-in-a-china-shop" leadership style, a former Treasury adviser has claimed, as the prime minister faces a Tory rebellion in the House of Commons.

Mujtaba Rahman, now managing director of Eurasia Group’s Europe, said the PM's contempt for parliament are starting to backfire, citing the rebellion on coronavirus and Brexit internal market bill from his own backbenches.

He told Politico: “There’s a reason Boris Johnson shows little respect for the traditional rules of the political game.

“After all, it’s the British prime minister’s bull-in-a-china-shop approach that got him where is today."

Rahman noted that it was "an approach that served him well last year, when after six months spent battling parliament and the Supreme Court over Brexit, Johnson called an early election and swept back into power with an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons — his Conservative Party’s largest since Margaret Thatcher’s in 1987".

But Rahman said the public no longer gave him the "benefit of the doubt" - with Keir Starmer's performance as leader of the opposition far greater than that of Jeremy Corbyn.


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The ex-Treasury adviser said consequently Johnson could end up paying the price for his leadership strategy.

"People no longer give the government the benefit of the doubt, as they did six months ago. And once you’ve lost the public trust, as Johnson may well have already done, reckless confrontation no longer looks like potency; it looks like an attempt to divert from a government’s woes.

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"The result: Labour has drawn level in the opinion polls, and more voters consider Labour leader Keir Starmer to be best suited for the job of prime minister. The bull in the china shop might soon discover he’s being handed a bill for everything he broke."

The comments come as Starmer's ratings with the public ranks him the highest performing Labour leader since Tony Blair.

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