The city of London (CNN) On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was dealt a major blow when two of his top ministers resigned, saying they could no longer work for a government engulfed in scandal.
Both Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and Sajid Javid, the health secretary, announced their resignations on Tuesday evening in letters posted on Twitter minutes apart.
On the other hand, the public has a right to expect the government to be run properly, competently and seriously. Although this may be my final ministerial position, I believe these values are important enough to fight for, so I’m resigning.
We are “fundamentally too different,” Sunak wrote in a letter accompanying the proposal for a joint speech on the economy next week. However, “I’m sad to be leaving Government, but I’ve regretfully concluded that we can’t go on like this.”
While serving in this post has been an honour, Javid expressed disappointment that he “can no longer continue in good conscience.” After the confidence vote last month, Javid said it was a time for humility and to “get hold of a new trajectory.”
Even though “I regret to say that this scenario will not change under your leadership,” Javid wrote, “you have thus lost my confidence as well.”
Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher resigned from his position last Thursday amid allegations that he had grabbed two guests at an exclusive dinner the night before, prompting instant criticism of Downing Street’s handling of his resignation.
Pincher wrote to Johnson that “last night I drank way too much” and “embarrassed myself and other people” despite not outright denying the charges.
After a flurry of revelations regarding Pincher’s alleged past behaviour, the administration has battled to explain why the minister was appointed in the first place. Johnson has denied knowing anything particular about the claims.
Pincher had been accused of misconduct in the Foreign Office three years ago, and Johnson was briefed on the incident. Johnson stated that appointing Pincher to his ministry “was a mistake” minutes before Sunak and Javid announced their resignations.
“This is a complaint I’ve received. Although it was simply brought up in passing, I wish we had taken action and prevented him from being in government because he went on to behave badly as far as we can see — according to the allegations we have “Johnson made the comments during a television appearance.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the UK opposition, claimed the government was “collapsing” and that it was “obvious.”
“The Prime Minister’s identity has been known to the Tories from the beginning of the election campaign. Amid this awful affair, they’ve been his biggest supporters. When he breached the law, I supported him. I stood by him even though he had frequently lied. When he made fun of the sacrifices made by the British people, I stood by him “In a statement released following the resignations of two Labour Party MPs, the party’s leader remarked.
Many of Johnson’s actions have come under fire recently, including illegal lockdown-breaking parties he hosted in Downing Street, for which he and others were fined. Johnson has been under fire for months now.
Despite his 80-seat landslide victory just two-and-a-half years ago, Johnson has faced multiple more scandals that have tarnished his reputation in the polls. For example, he is accused of using donor money to restore his Downing Street residence improperly and whipping MPs to protect one of his colleagues who had broken lobbying regulations.
A vote of confidence in him was defeated last month, but the ultimate number of parliamentarians who refused to support him was more than expected: 41% of his parliamentary party declined to support him.
To make matters worse, late last month, his party suffered a double defeat in by-elections to the House of Commons in the space of one night, further fueling doubts about his ability to lead.
In a poll done by Ipsos UK between the 22nd and 29th of June, Johnson’s Conservative Party was rated as the least “suited to govern” in more than a decade. Ipsos began tracking this indicator in 2011 and found that just 21% of respondents felt the Conservatives or Labour were fit to govern.
London’s political turmoil had a ripple effect on the financial markets, which pushed the sterling’s value versus the dollar to its lowest level in over two years.
There have been more resignations.
The government didn’t waste any time filling the vacancies. On Tuesday evening, former Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi was named Chancellor and former Downing Street Chief of Staff Steve Barclay was named Health Secretary.
Zahawi was replaced as Education Secretary by Michelle Donelan.
On Tuesday, others joined Javid and Sunak in their departure. As soon as the two resigned, Bim Afolami, the vice head of the Conservative Party, declared that he was leaving as well. “I just don’t think the Prime Minister any longer has my support… the support of the party or indeed the country anymore,” Afolami said in an interview with The News Desk’s Tom Newton Dunn.
Afolami called on Johnson to quit before announcing his departure. As a result, “I believe you should quit because I cannot serve under the Prime Minister.”
A ministerial official in the Attorney General’s Office, Alex Chalk resigned on Tuesday, saying in his resignation letter that it was time “for fresh leadership.”
“To be a member of the government, one accepts the responsibility to advocate for positions that may not be popular, but which are in the best interest of the country. However, this does not include defending those who cannot be defended “Chalk it up.
Andrew Murrison, the Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Morocco, also announced his resignation, blaming Boris Johnson’s “position has become unrecoverable” and the “rolling catastrophe of the previous six months.”