‘Is he fit to lead?’: how newspapers around world are now questioning Boris’s future

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Corriere della Sera had a photo of Mr Johnson on its front page, with the headline “Johnson’s apologies for the lockdown party”.

The paper said Labour is insisting the PM resign. Inside, the paper had a whole page on the saga, with three close-up photos of the prime minister looking contrite and pained during Question Time.

“The party’s over for Boris Johnson,” the leading daily said. The PM’s apologies “have only made his position worse,” with his claims that he thought he was attending a work event inviting “incredulity”. His situation now looks similar to the last days of Margaret Thatcher, the paper says.

La Repubblica, another leading Italian daily, was damning in its judgement of the prime minister.

“Just two years have passed since his electoral triumph. But Boris Johnson has never been so vulnerable. Everyone knows it – his adversaries, his friends, his former allies. Even him. The prime minister now has very little time in which to save himself.”

The paper said the lockdown party furore could be the last straw in a series of debacles, including the Owen Paterson affair. “For months, he seems to have lost his mojo, his spirit.”

In Brussels, diplomats and officials have a long-held belief that Mr Johnson targets the EU for criticism to divert attention from his own domestic failings. 

Now they fear the Prime Minister could trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to override Brexit trade checks in the Irish Sea as a ploy to whip up a row with the EU. 

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