Lack of “a clear moral compass” led to prime minister’s downfall, says Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth

Boris Johnson’s lack of “a clear moral compass” was the underlying cause of his downfall, a Catholic bishop has said.

The prime minister announced his resignation yesterday (7th July) following a mutiny of more than 50 government ministers over his response to allegations that a senior member of the government had sexually assaulted two men in a London club.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth told Catholic News Service that Johnson lost credibility because he misled members of Parliament about how much he knew about similar complaints of sexual misconduct against Chris Pincher before he appointed him as the government’s deputy chief whip in February.

“He has been like (Donald) Trump — a larger than life character,” said Bishop Egan.

“His big political achievement was the controversial thing of Brexit.”

“To me, he seemed to lack a clear moral compass, and the sleaze and prevarication of the last month … completely undermined his authority and his resignation became inevitable,” the bishop said.

The bishop added the crisis should inspire the U.K. to reflect upon the values upheld by figures in public life.

“Whoever is the next prime minister needs to engage with or collaborate with faith leaders in order that we have a more intelligent and open public discussion about values — common values and moral probity,” he continued.

“Catholic social teaching gives us a really good basis for that kind of discussion.”



Simon Caldwell for Catholic News Service, Washington

2 thoughts on “Lack of “a clear moral compass” led to prime minister’s downfall, says Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth

  • July 14, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Unfortunately, lack of a clear moral compass is not confined merely to PM, Boris Johnson. On the contrary, the same observation can be made virtually everywhere throughout secular government.

    In his book, “Light from Darkness”, the author, Steve Weidenkopf, notes that some 500 years ago, temporal authority began to view the Church as merely, “one of many churches” and It was losing Its influence over temporal government. Western civilisation was founded on the bedrock of Christianity but worldly government today proposes and upholds what is, in many instances, gravely contrary to God’s law. Good law follows God’s law: all else is a perversion! It will take much more than the passing of one Prime Minister to remedy our ills in the political sphere.

    • tcnadmin
      July 23, 2022 at 2:42 pm

      Dear Jozef,

      I agree with you entirely. I hve written another blog this week about the need to rediscover Christian principles if we are to save our democracy. Thank you for your comments and support. God Bless JOSEPH

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