As recession threatens, Boris Johnson “is missing” (in Slovenia)

As recession threatens, Boris Johnson “is missing” (in Slovenia)

Bad timing for Boris Johnson. The opposition on Friday accused the British Prime Minister, supposed to manage current affairs while waiting for his successor to be appointed, of being “missing” when the Bank of England warned that the recession threatens.

In the wake of shock announcements from the central bank which predicted that the country would enter its longest period of recession since the 2008 financial crisis, British media reported that the Prime Minister and his finance minister Nadhim Zahawi were in holiday away from London. The Conservative government “is missing”, denounced the number two of the Labor Party, Angela Rayner, on Twitter.

Downing Street declined to say where the Tory leader is spending his holidays but the Slovenian government said Boris Johnson had traveled to Slovenia for a “private” holiday. “The British Embassy in Slovenia has informed us that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on a private visit to Slovenia. Due to the nature of the visit, no meeting (with Slovenian officials) is planned,” the government said.

On Friday morning, the Minister for Energy and Business, Kwasi Kwarteng, admitted that he “did not know where Boris was” while ensuring that he was in “permanent contact” with him. “He just celebrated his wedding, I think he is on his honeymoon and (…) I don’t think a lot of people will blame him,” he said on Times Radio. Boris and Carrie Johnson celebrated their wedding last weekend, a celebration that had been pushed back by the coronavirus pandemic.

Few appearances

Kwasi Karteng added that it is “completely wrong” to accuse the government of inaction at a time when members of the Conservative Party are voting to replace Boris Johnson, who announced his departure in July, pushed out by a series of of scandals. The Tories must choose between top diplomat Liz Truss, who is leading in the polls, and ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak, with the outcome of the vote to be announced on September 5. Boris Johnson will officially step down the following day.

Since announcing his resignation he has made few appearances and has already been criticized for missing crisis meetings over the historic heatwave that hit the UK last month or not having received the English footballers after their victory at the Euro.

According to the Central Bank, the recession will begin at the end of 2022 due to soaring energy prices, which will push inflation to over 13% in October and further aggravate the current dramatic crisis in purchasing power that British households are suffering.

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