August 18, 2022

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2 senior Cabinet ministers resign as Boris Johnson Battles for survival: Live updates

2 senior Cabinet ministers resign as Boris Johnson Battles for survival: Live updates

attributed to him…Frank Augustine’s photo

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting for his political survival on Tuesday when two top ministers in his Conservative government unexpectedly resigned from their ministerial posts in what appeared to be a coordinated move against their leader.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sajid Javid, the Minister of Health, have resigned over the recent scandal to raise questions about Mr Johnson’s judgment and veracity. They announced their decisions shortly after Mr Johnson apologized for appointing a minister, Chris Pincher, who last week resigned from his job over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The resignations have pushed Mr Johnson into the most dangerous position of his three-year tenure as prime minister, following a series of crises that forced him to survive a vote of no confidence last month.

Last month, Johnson narrowly escaped a confidence vote among his deputies, and unless the party’s rules are changed, he will not be able to face another contest for a year. This means that resignations from the government could be the only effective way to pressure Mr Johnson to resign.

“The public rightly expects the government to be properly, efficiently and seriously run,” Mr. Sunak said in a statement. “I realize this may be my last ministerial job, but I think these standards are worth striving for and that’s why I’m resigning.”

Mr Pincher resigned as Vice Chairman of Whip last week after admitting he was drunk at a members club in London where he was said to have touched two men inappropriately. He was dismissed from the Conservative Party during an investigation into the allegations but did not resign as a member of Parliament.

On Tuesday, Downing Street admitted that Mr Johnson had been told of previous allegations against Mr Pincher in 2019 – something Johnson’s office initially denied.

The outrage over the circumstances of Mr. Pincher’s appointment – and the Downing Street account of him – is just the latest in a string of scandals surrounding Mr Johnson. Earlier this year, he was fined by police for breaching his own lockdown rules in Downing Street, where members of his staff were found throwing a number of alcohol-fueled parties.

In his resignation statement, Mr. Javid said he “can no longer, in good conscience, continue to serve in this government”. He added that the public expects “the government to proceed in a proper, efficient and serious manner.”

Speaking to the BBC, Mr. Johnson admitted it was a “mistake” to make Mr Pincher’s vice president whip given the complaints about his behaviour. He added: “In hindsight, this is the wrong thing to do and I apologize to everyone who was deeply affected.”

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