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Tue, 26 January 2021

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Two-Thirds of MPs Think Boris Johnson Has Handled The Covid-19 Crisis Badly, New Research Suggests

Two-Thirds of MPs Think Boris Johnson Has Handled The Covid-19 Crisis Badly, New Research Suggests

The poll of MPs found the majority were not happy with Boris Johnson's response to the Covid-19 crisis (PA/Dods)

2 min read

Two-thirds of MPs surveyed claim they aren’t happy with how Boris Johnson has handled the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.

The fresh data also revealed that just 9% of respondents were satisfied with the UK government’s response to the crisis, with 62% stating they were dissatisfied.

Other senior politicians received more favourable reviews with 50% of MPs who responded saying UK chancellor Rishi Sunak had performed well during the pandemic, while 45% were positive about Keir Starmer’s response. 

When asked if the government was prepared to deal with future waves of the virus, 59% of the MPs in the survey said that the UK was not prepared.

But, over half (53%) said they were confident that the NHS would be able to cope with further spikes of the virus. 

Political intelligence specialist Dods – which also publishes PoliticsHome – spoke to 279 members of the UK, Scottish and European parliaments, to obtain their views on how political leaders had fared in tackling the coronavirus crisis. 

It comes only weeks after the Prime Minister suffered a significant rebellion from backbench MPs during a vote on his controversial tier system of coronavirus restrictions.

Despite the legislation passing, questions were raised about Mr Johnson’s leadership after 53 Tory MPs rejected his plans to place almost the entirety of England under tough new measures after the second lockdown.

Among them were seven former Cabinet ministers and a host of senior figures in the party, along with a dozen from the 2019 intake of new Conservatives.

This represented the biggest number of Tory MPs defying a three-line whip since last year’s election victory.

In Scotland, it found that 58% of MSPs were satisfied with the government’s handling of the crisis, while 67% were impressed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s response.

MEPs expressed mixed views on the European Union’s handling of the pandemic response, with just 39% reporting they were satisfied compared to 27% of respondents who were dissatisfied. 

Over half (51%) of respondents, however, said that President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has handled the pandemic well.

The survey was sent via email in October to all sitting MPs, Peers in Westminster, MSPs in Holyrood and MEPs in the European Parliament. Forty-five MPs, 91 Peers, 63 MSPs and 80 MEPs responded.

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