Two prominent British ministers have resigned from Boris Johnson’s cabinet
On Tuesday, two of Britain’s most senior Cabinet ministers resigned, which might mean the end of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership following months of scandals.
Following a day in which the prime minister said he had to revise his story on how he handled claims of sexual misconduct by a senior member of his ministry, Treasury head Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid quit within minutes of each other.
In his resignation letter, Javid wrote, “It is with enormous regret that I must tell you that I can no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this government.” The British people have a right to expect honesty and transparency from their government, and I take that responsibility seriously.
“the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. ” that government would be run properly, competently, and seriously, Sunak stated.
Since “these standards are worth fighting for,” he said, “I realise this may be my last ministerial job.”
If Johnson is removed as Conservative Party leader, both Sunak and Javid have been considered probable successors. The cost of living crisis and the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic were under their respective purviews, therefore their departures dealt a severe blow to the prime minister.
In the most recent incident, Johnson was accused of covering up for a politician who was promoted despite complaints of sexual misconduct.
Johnson has faced pressure to explain what he knew about earlier misconduct charges against member Chris Pincher, who resigned as deputy chief whip Thursday over complaints that he molested two men at a private club.
Johnson told reporters that Pincher should have been removed from the government for an earlier incident in 2019 only minutes before Javid and Sunak announced their resignations.
Asked if it was an error to nominate Pincher to the cabinet, Johnson answered “I think it was a mistake and I apologize for it. In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do.”
I am truly sorry for the pain it has caused everyone. I want to make clearly clear that there’s no place in this government for anybody who is predatory or who abuses their position of power,” Johnson added.
Over the past five days, the government’s narrative has changed several times. Johnson promoted Pincher to the position in February, and at first, ministers said he was unaware of any claims before making the move.
On Monday, a spokeswoman said Johnson knew about sexual misconduct charges that were “either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint.”
That account didn’t sit well with Simon McDonald, the highest senior civil officer at the U.K. Foreign Office from 2015 to 2020. On Tuesday, he made the unprecedented claim that the Prime Minister’s Office was still not being truthful.
McDonald said in a letter to the parliamentary commissioner for standards that he received complaints about Pincher’s behaviour in the summer of 2019, shortly after Pincher became a Foreign Office minister. An investigation upheld the accusation, and Pincher apologised for his actions, McDonald said.
McDonald disagreed that Johnson was uninformed of the claims or that the complaints were discarded because they had been settled or not filed formally.
“The original No. 10 line is not true, and the modification is still not accurate,” McDonald wrote, referring to the prime minister’s Downing Street office. “Mr. Johnson was briefed in person regarding the commencement and outcome of the investigation.
Johnson’s office revised its initial statement hours after McDonald’s comments were made public, stating the prime minister had forgotten he had been informed that Pincher was the subject of an official complaint.
Having to publicly convey the prime minister’s denials, only to have the reason twist the next day, has created resentment inside Johnson’s Cabinet.
Under the heading “Claim of lying puts Boris Johnson in peril.” The Times of London offered an overview of the situation on Tuesday.