At risk of a full-blown recession, Boris Johnson is ‘missing’

The British opposition on Friday accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is supposed to run current affairs while awaiting the appointment of his successor, of being “missing” when the Bank of England warned that a recession was looming.

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After shocking statements from the Central Bank, which predicted that the country would enter the longest recession since the 2008 financial crisis, British media reported that the Prime Minister and his Finance Minister, Nazim Al-Zahawi, were on vacation outside London.

The Conservative government is ‘missing’, denouncing Labour’s number two, Angela Rayner, on Twitter.

Downing Street declined to say where the Conservative leader was vacationing, but the Slovenian government, contacted by AFP, said Boris Johnson had traveled to Slovenia for a “private” stay.

The British Embassy in Slovenia informed us that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on a private visit to Slovenia. Due to the nature of the visit, there are no meetings [avec des responsables slovènes] government said.

On Friday morning, the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarting, admitted he “does not know where Boris is” while emphasizing that he is “in constant contact” with him.

“He just celebrated his wedding, I think he’s on his honeymoon and […] “I don’t think a lot of people would blame him,” he told Radio Times.

Boris and Carrie Johnson celebrated their marriage last weekend, a ceremony that has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Kwarteng added that it was “totally wrong” to accuse the government of inaction as Conservative Party members vote to replace Boris Johnson, who announced his departure in July, after a series of scandals drove him out.

The Conservative Party must choose between its chief of diplomacy, Liz Truss, who is leading in the polls, and former finance minister, Rishi Sunak, with the outcome of the vote scheduled for September 5. Boris Johnson will officially step down the next day.

Since his resignation has been announced, little has emerged, and he has already been criticized for his absence from crisis meetings due to the historic heat wave that hit the UK last month or his failure to welcome English footballers after their European Championship victory.

According to the central bank, a recession will start at the end of 2022 due to higher energy prices, which will push inflation to more than 13% in October and exacerbate the current dramatic crisis in purchasing power that British households are experiencing.

“We’re going to have to wait four weeks for an emergency budget because that’s how we’re helping people. It’s up to the new chancellor, the new prime minister, whoever he is, to come up with measures,” Kwasi-Quarting told Radio Times.

“But the idea that we’re doing nothing in the meantime is wrong,” he added.

Despite his absence from London, Finance Minister Nadim Zahawi said in a statement on Thursday that there were “no holidays” for him and that he was still receiving “daily” calls and briefings.

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