Boris Johnson acting as 'human shield' for Tories over Brexit and Covid-19

Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinking tea during a visit to Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinking tea during a visit to Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson is acting as a "human shield" for the Tories during Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, a political commentator has claimed.

Benedict Spence, a Telegraph columnist, has said that the prime minister is "soaking up the political flack" during the pandemic, and he has claimed it is unlikely anyone will manoeuvre to replace him until he steps down.

"It would have to be a new Conservative prime minister, and as much as there is a lot of discontent with Boris Johnson, we have to remember why it was he became prime minister.

"After having a great array of Tory MPs against him, the 'never Boris' campaign which facilitated Theresa May as prime minister, he was seen as 'grit your teeth and bear it' candidate.

"This is the man that we need to put in place to become the sacrificial lamb to be the human-battering ram to get Brexit done.

"That's what's going to actually solve the impasse, and we don't mind having this man in place for a couple of years to soak up the political flack.

"So if you've already got a human shield, a prime minister who fulfils that role in Number 10, why would anyone want to step into the breach right now, and an even worse political situation?"

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Spece said he did not think Johnson will stand again in 2024 "even if he wanted to - and I don't think he wants to".

MORE: Boris Johnson warned majority will be 'wiped out'

"So actually if you already know that vacancy is going to come up in a few years time, why on earth would you push for that chance right now if you're an ambitious Conservative. Because you can't win if you become prime minister right now, and then you are the one who has to reverse everything in the midst of a pandemic.

"I think you have to come to the end of that before you'll see a serious change made, so therefore I think the strategy will remain largely the same".

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