The world is responding today following Boris Johnson’s apology for the way he handled Downing Street’s latest scandal.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister faced calls to resign after details emerged of a “bring your own booze” garden party at his residence in May 2020 while the country was in a national lockdown, with people unable to meet with loved ones. 

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson apologised for the way he handled the event adding that he understood the public’s “rage”. 

With the world’s eyes on Johnson’s Government, many papers asked the question: is he still fit to lead?

United States

HeraldScotland:

In the US, The Washington Post asked asked in recent days: Is the party really over for Boris Johnson?. 

The New York Times reported the “under fire” PM is on the defensive after a series of “ethical lapses”.

The paper wrote: “Facing a potentially lethal threat to his leadership, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain on Wednesday offered a contrite apology for attending a Downing Street garden party.

“The apology might have brought the prime minister some political breathing room, analysts said. Yet it did little to dispel the thunderclouds over him.”

The Los Angeles Times said that Mr Johnson’s apology “ stopped short of admitting wrongdoing” and was an “attempt to stem a tide of anger from the public and politicians after repeated accusations that he and his staff flouted pandemic restrictions”.

CBS News reported: “This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced the most serious questions of his time in office.”

In a jab the outlet added: “If you feel like you've already heard this story, that's because Johnson has already had to defend his government from allegations that he and senior aides broke their own rules — at least twice.”

On CNN, one London-based reporter said: “You can hear the jeers and the laughter there and I can tell you it echoes the sentiment across this country.

“The question is, is he still fit to lead? Does he have the moral authority to tell people to follow the rules if his very government wasn’t doing that? This is a Prime Minister who finally feels cornered.”

Europe

HeraldScotland:

In Europe, the German national newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung printed an opinion piece under the headline “Boris Johnson does not govern. He only plays premier”.

In the same country, Bild, Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper, led with the headline: “It's getting tight for party Boris”.

The Italian Corriere della Sera said “even the Conservatives” are ready to kick out the “overwhelmed” PM.

One of Spain’s leading newspapers, La Razón, said on its front page that the Prime Minister was left "staggering" at Prime Minister's Questions, while El País’ front page featured a photograph of Labour MPs berating Mr Johnson.

Catalonia’s La Vanguardia said: “Boris Johnson may fall not because of Brexit, or his management of the pandemic, his attacks on democracy and his disregard for international treaties, but because of organising banned parties in Downing Street.”

France’s Le Monde paper described Johnson’s future as “in jeopardy” following the scandal.

Le Figaro's front page today called the crisis the "Partygate storm" and reported that Mr Johnson was "heckled even within the ranks of his own Conservative Party."

 

UK

HeraldScotland:

Closer to home in the UK, newspaper front pages are mounting on the pressure and focused on growing discontent within the PM’s own party.

The Guardian says his future is on a ‘knife’s-edge’, with some Conservative MPs openly calling for his resignation while others speak off-the-record.

The Daily Telegraph, where Mr Johnson once worked as a journalist, focused on reported tensions between Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Prime Minister.

The paper added to speculation Mr Sunak is eyeing the top job, and said he kept Mr Johnson “in limbo” when he said that it was right for him to apologise but kept shy of an endorsement.

Metro’s front page sent a clear message that the paper perceived Mr Johnson’s apology to be a half-hearted one, with the headline “Sorry… Not sorry”. The paper said one Tory backbencher called the Prime Minister a “dead man walking”.

The Times rounded out an encircling of the Prime Minister with the inclusion of a poll showing the Tories have fallen to their lowest poll rating against Labour in almost a decade. The paper was also leaked reports Mr Johnson told Tory MPs after PMQs that he did not believe he had personally done anything wrong.

The Daily Mirror ran a line of questioning from Sir Keir at PMQs on its front page and called the Mr Johnson a “shameless leader” fighting for his political life.

Another line from Labour was given top spot on The Independent, with “a man without shame” running across its front page. 

The i focused on the anger from the PM’s own party, with Conservative MPs beginning to submit no-confidence letters to the leader.

The Daily Express asked the PM to prove he can “deliver” and The Sun said Mr Johnson was just clinging on, while the Daily Star called the premier an “amnesiac” who told the country “rules are only for you little people”.

The Scotsman highlighted Tory leader Douglas Ross leading calls for the Prime Minister to quit with the headline “Scots Tories lead rebellion despite ⁦Johnson’s apology”, while The Mirror branded him a “Disgrace” in their banner headline.