Boris Johnson Exit: Odds tumble on 2020 amid Italy trip allegations

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
UK PM Boris Johnson
Will Johnson serve a full term as PM or will he be off before the next election?

The price on Boris Johnson quitting as prime minister this year has shortened after he was accused of going on a secret trip to Italy this month. Max Liu has the latest...

"He is 85/403.1 to leave in 2021, although 2024 or later is the favourite at 6/42.5. Those odds, however, have been drifting."

The odds on Boris Johnson leaving office this year shortened dramatically on the Betfair Exchange amid reports that the prime minister made a secret trip to Italy in the past fortnight. Johnson is 13/27.6 to go in 2020 in from 24/125.0 a few days ago.

Downing Street denied the claims, made by an Italian newspaper and backed up by airport officials in Perugia, and insisted Johnson hasn't been to Italy for several months.

These are testing times for the PM as the UK faces a tightening of restrictions amid a rise in covid-19 cases. Today the government's chief medical officer Chris Whitty warned that the country should be prepared for six months of restrictions.

Johnson has been criticised for his handling of the pandemic and for the past few weeks rumours have circulated about him stepping down. He was admitted to intensive care after catching Covid in April and some insiders have claimed that the illness has taken its toll on him.

Boris Johnson at a school 956.jpg

The PM's chief adviser Dominic Cummings' father-in-law reportedly said last month that Johnson would resign early next year. He is 85/403.1 to leave in 2021, although 2024 or later is the favourite at 6/42.5. Those odds, however, have been drifting.

If Johnson leaves then chancellor Rishi Sunak 3.65 is the favourite to succeed him as Conservative leader. Michael Gove 6/16.8 is next in the betting followed by Jeremy Hunt 12/113.0 who's currently on the back benches but came second in last year's leadership contest.

Allegations about Johnson going to Italy, although not illegal, would damage the government's credibility at a moment when it is urging people to follow stiffer guidelines.

Johnson has form where secret trips to Italy are concerned. In 2018, while he was foreign secretary, he was photographed looking dishevelled at San Francesco d'Assisi airport. He had been staying at a restored castle owned by Evgeny Lebedev who is renowned for holding lavish parties and was recently appointed to the House of Lords.

UK - Party Leaders: UK - Party Leaders (Exit Dates - Boris Johnson)

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Tuesday 31 December, 11.59pm

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