The Guardian view on Tory electoral prospects: dimming by the day
Rishi Sunak is a Conservative prime minister who wants to be seen as a break with the past. The trouble is, he is leading a party that cant escape it. The adage that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely hangs like Banquos ghost over Mr Sunaks agenda, disrupting his attempts to reset the narrative. The oxygen of Downing Streets plan to save the NHS was sucked out of the room on Monday morning as it sank in that Nadhim Zahawi was the second cabinet minister Mr Sunak had lost in his first 100 days in office. Another may go once the investigation into multiple bullying claims made against the deputy prime minister wraps up.
Mr Sunak wont be out of the woods even then, because the country will be watching Boris Johnson answering questions over whether he lied to parliament during the Partygate affair. For the public, the Conservatives look like a party that has become too complacent, with ministers wreathed in a sense of entitlement that can lead people to act unethically. This has a ring of the 1990s about it. As then, scandals involving an exhausted Tory party hit the headlines. As then, an unpopular Tory government looks to have lost sense of what to do with power and lacks the initiative to push its own ideas. Mr Sunak isnt responsible for the failings of figures in his party. Nor was John Major. But the tide of scandal ended his career.
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