Johnson insists he believes no rules have been broken and has asked one of his top officials to investigate the alleged parties.
And on Wednesday, a picture emerged of a Christmas party held at Conservative Party headquarters on December 14 last year.
The photo, obtained and published by The Mirror newspaper, shows 24 people at an event for London’s Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey at the party headquarters in London.
The Tories did not respond to DailyExpertNews’s calls for comment on the newly discovered photo, but the Conservative Party had previously distanced themselves from the event and Bailey.
There have been other scandals about how the prime minister paid for the renovation of his flat and who paid for a luxury vacation he took.
The accumulation of scandals and mischief between parties is a gift to Johnson’s critics — and the reports are starting to get through to the public, polls suggest. Every week the opposition leader can question the prime minister in parliament, and on Wednesday Labor leader Keir Starmer turned the knife and asked Johnson about the previous night’s uprising.
“If more votes are needed to save lives,” the Labor Party would follow Starmer’s leadership and help take the essential measures if its own MPs do not support him. Starmer asked, “Does the Prime Minister understand why his own MPs don’t trust him?” Johnson declined to answer this specific question.
Starmer asked why people have to follow rules that seem to be ignored by many in Downing Street. Johnson was visibly irritated by this line of inquiry.
However, the prime minister is unlikely to be in immediate danger of losing his job. To remove Johnson from office, 15% of his MPs would have to send letters to the chairman of a group of Conservative MPs known as the 1922 Committee, calling for a vote of confidence in his leadership.
The number of letters sent is always kept private, but is not thought to be near that threshold. Even if it were achieved, Johnson is unlikely to lose the vote. This, in turn, would make him immune to another leadership challenge for 12 months. It wouldn’t be in the interest of those who want to remove Johnson to show their hand by voting against him just to lose. And there’s an argument that for now the best way to keep it in service is damaged enough that it can be controlled. Nobody wants to clean up their mess.
There is also little chance of a vote in parliament that could collapse his government. Losing a protest vote that your rebels know will pass opposition votes is quite different from a vote that could collapse a government and trigger a general election.
But all this doesn’t mean Johnson is completely safe. There is a theory that political leadership is not ended by a single shot, but by a thousand cuts.
Individual events don’t make people suddenly turn around and change their mind, but the general stench eventually catches up with you. And for a politician like Johnson, this is dangerous.
He came into office with a reputation for not being completely trustworthy. The circumstances under which he won the 2019 election were extremely unusual (Brexit was stuck and then-leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, was historically unpopular with voters).
The danger for Johnson is that many voters believe that if someone can lie about one thing, say about details of how Brexit works, it is one small step to believe that they will lie about everything.
And unfortunately for Johnson, it is possible he may have passed the point of no return and these scandals will continue to haunt him until the end of his leadership. The question is how quickly that will happen.