Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a police station visit in London on Monday. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Until recently, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's popularity within his party and with the public made his position appear almost invulnerable. Now 6 in 10 Brits think he'll be out of a job by the end of next year.

By the numbers: Johnson's approval ratings have plummeted to a record-low 30%, his Brexit negotiator just abandoned ship, and his image as an electoral juggernaut has been tainted.

How it happened: Johnson has faced relentless headlines since early November about "sleaze" in his party ranks (he moved to change ethics rules in an ill-fated attempt to save scandal-tainted Brexiteer Member of Parliament Owen Paterson) and his own home (he used an undeclared donation to refurbish 10 Downing Street).

  • He's faced brutal press coverage for matters trivial (the bizarre speech in which he lost his place and rambled about Peppa Pig) and substantial (the resignation of Brexit Minister David Frost over the direction of Johnson's government).
  • On COVID-19, he's tried to walk a tightrope between scientific advisers pushing a stronger response to the Omicron wave and Conservative backbenchers resisting any such steps — 100 of whom rebelled against Johnson in last week's vote to require COVID passes to enter certain large venues.

Then there are the parties, or "work meetings," depending on whom you ask.

  • Johnson denied an initial wave of reports about Christmas parties in Downing Street during last year's strict lockdown. Then came a leaked video of his spokesperson joking about just such a party at the time.
  • Johnson tasked Cabinet Secretary Simon Case with investigating whether any such parties had taken place, but Case stepped down after it emerged that his office might have hosted one.

On Sunday, the Guardian published a photo, taken during another strict lockdown in May 2020, of Johnson seated with his wife and aides in the Downing Street garden, with wine and cheese on the table and a dozen more aides gathered in the background.

  • Johnson insists the photo shows "people at work talking about work." Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab bolstered his own claim of a work meeting by noting that the people in the photo were wearing suits (most of them weren't).

The big picture: Johnson's political allies have forgiven him all manner of sins in the past because he's a proven election winner.

  • Since London started directly electing mayors in 2000, Johnson is the only Conservative to win. He did it twice.
  • Johnson led the underdog pro-Brexit campaign, cruised through the 2019 Conservative leadership election, and then won the party's biggest general election landslide in three decades.
  • But when Paterson's seat was up for a special election on Thursday, the Conservative candidate was badgered with questions about Johnson's integrity (which he declined to answer). The Conservatives lost a seat they had held for 200 years, and the party's former electoral savior began to look like a liability.

State of play: Labour currently leads the Conservatives in the polls for the first time since Johnson became Tory leader, but an election isn't due until 2024.

  • If Johnson is indeed to be ousted in 2022, the shove will have to come from within his own party. Imminent action on that front seems unlikely, though Conservative MPs have started knifing Johnson anonymously in the press.

Go deeper

Jan 14, 2022 - World

Latest lockdown party bombshell piles pressure on Boris Johnson

Today's front pages. Photo: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty

With speculation already swirling that members of Parliament from Boris Johnson's own party might soon force him out, the Daily Telegraph (his former employer) added Thursday to the drip, drip of doom over lockdown-defying parties in Downing Street.

Driving the news: The night before Prince Philip’s funeral last April — at which Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sat alone due to social distancing rules — Downing Street staff gathered at two parties for departing colleagues.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.