British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting for his political survival after the bombshell resignations of two of his top cabinet officials on Tuesday night. The resignations appeared to be a concerted move against the Conservative Party leader.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, both Mr. They recused themselves from a new scandal that again raised questions about Johnson’s judgment and integrity.
Mr. The latest crisis centers on Chris Pincher, a Conservative lawmaker who was a minister in Johnson’s government. Last week, Mr. Pincher resigned his government post drunkenly. Later it came to light that there were such allegations against him.
Mr. When Fincher was appointed, Mr. For days, the government insisted that Johnson knew of no prior charges.
Later on Monday, Downing Street the prime minister acknowledged an allegation, dating back to Mr Fincher’s days at the Foreign Office, but said there had been no formal complaint against him. It was then revealed that there was, in fact, a formal complaint. It was also reported Mr. Johnson knew about it.
On Tuesday, Sir Simon Macdonald, a former top civil servant at the Foreign Office, went public He blamed the government Repetition of the truth.
Mr. For appointing Pincher, Mr. Johnson apologized on Tuesday. Mr. Sunak and Mr. Javid’s resignations came shortly after, and Mr. Johnson’s three-year tenure as Prime Minister was pushed to a more precarious position.
A month ago, following a series of unrelated scandals, he He survived the vote of confidence by his fellow Conservative lawmakers, but the breathing room he was given is dwindling fast.
Mr. Because Johnson survived that vote, Conservative MPs cannot invite another for a year unless the party’s rules are changed. That means pressure to resign from his own government — including cabinet resignations like Tuesday’s — is the only effective method of ousting him.
To blunt the impact of the resignation, Mr. Mr Johnson moved quickly to appoint Steve Barclay, who had held a number of government posts, as health secretary. He replaced Javid.
Mr. Johnson’s fate may rest on whether other members of his cabinet stand by him. While many senior ministers were known to be loyal to the prime minister, there were others who were under suspicion and their words and actions would be closely watched.
Whether the cabinet is loyal or not, Mr. Johnson faces an uphill battle to regain his battered authority. Before Tuesday’s resignation, Conservative lawmakers speculated about changing party rules to allow for a new no-confidence vote before the summer recess.
So far, Mr. Johnson has refused calls to resign.
In a BBC interview on Tuesday, he admitted it was a “mistake” to make Mr Pincher deputy chief whip, given previous complaints about his behaviour. “In hindsight it was a mistake, and I apologize to everyone who was badly affected by it,” Mr. Johnson said.
The story has echoes of the revelation of alcohol-fuelled parties in Downing Street that defied the government’s own Covid lockdown rules. Mr. Johnson and his allies responded with denials, changing stories, and finally apologies and promises of better behavior.
Mr. Javid, in his resignation statement, said he “can no longer, in good conscience, continue to serve in this government”.
Mr. Sunak said in his own statement: “The public expects government to be run properly, efficiently and seriously. I recognize that this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for, and that is why I am resigning.