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But it is the reaction of his own Tories that will be of most concern to the prime minister. One Conservative member of Parliament privately described the mood among colleagues as sulfurous, while predicting the premier will survive because he’s prepared to brazen it out. Another, though, said the scandal will ultimately mean the end of the road for Johnson.
It’s a significant moment of peril at the worst possible time for Johnson, who had hoped to begin 2022 with a reset after a turbulent end to last year when support for the Conservatives plummeted in the polls.
A string of allegations about other rule-breaking gatherings in Westminster -- dubbed “partygate” by the U.K. media -- was compounded by a damaging loss in a special election and widespread criticism over how he had funded the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.