UK: At risk of recession, Boris Johnson is ‘missing’

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

In the wake of surprise announcements from the central bank that predicted 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, are 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. The government said that due to the nature of the visit, a meeting (with Slovenian officials) was not scheduled.

“in constant contact”

Energy and Business Minister Kwasi Kwarting admitted Friday morning that he “does not know where Boris is” while stressing that he is “in constant contact” with him. “He just had his wedding, I think he’s on his honeymoon and (…) I don’t think a lot of people would blame him,” he said on Radio Times. Boris and Carrie Johnson celebrated their marriage last weekend, a ceremony that has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kwasi Karting added that it was “totally wrong” to accuse the government of inaction while members of the Conservative Party were voting to replace Boris Johnson, who announced his departure in July after a series of scandals. The Conservative Party must choose between chief diplomat Liz Truss, who is leading in the polls, and former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, with the result of the vote to be announced on September 5. Boris Johnson will officially step down the next day.

His lack of appearance after announcing his resignation

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 wait four weeks for an emergency budget because that’s how we’re helping people – it’s going to be up to the new chancellor, the new prime minister, whoever it is, to come up with the measures,” Kwasi Karting said on 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 for him there was “no vacation”, and that he was still receiving “daily” calls and briefings.

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