More than 40 cabinet members announced their departure on Wednesday, 24 hours after the resounding resignations of Health Minister Sajid Javid and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.
Late on Wednesday evening, Simon Hart, who served as Minister of State for Wales, became the third member of Johnson’s cabinet to walk out.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Hart said he had never been a
great admirer of ministerial resignations. However, he added that the time to stay in order to help the Prime Minister
right the ship was now
Adding to these voluntary departures, Boris Johnson sacked his Housing Minister Michael Gove, who, according to British media, had called for the Prime Minister’s resignation. A Conservative Party heavyweight who has held several senior positions, Mr Gove had worked closely with Boris Johnson during the Brexit campaign in 2016.
In a statement to the BBC, former Conservative minister Margot James criticized the dismissal.
She called the decision to fire Minister Gove,
probably the most capable minister in this governmentof
Several senior ministers have visited the Prime Minister at his home at 10 Downing Street to demand his resignation as the situation has become unstable, according to British media.
Among the names cited, Interior Minister Priti Patel, as well as Nadhim Zahawi, less than 24 hours after his appointment as Minister of Finance.
Attorney General Suella Braverman added her voice to those calling for the prime minister’s departure, while indicating that she intended to remain in office. Asked about her interest in becoming a candidate in a possible leadership race, she indicated that she would throw herself into the arena.
Other ministers, on the other hand, reaffirmed their support for him, such as Nadine Dorries, head of Culture, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, minister for Brexit opportunities.
Johnson promises to “fight”
Still, Prime Minister Johnson shows no sign of wanting to bend in the face of increasing pressure.
The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances, when given a colossal mandate, is to carry on, and that’s what I’m going to dohe launched during question period in the House of Commons.
Underlining the fragility of the British economy and the war in Ukraine, the head of the Conservative government also pleaded that
this is exactly the moment when a government is expected to continue its work, not to give up […] and that it focuses on what matters to the citizens of this country.
In later testimony before a parliamentary committee, Mr Johnson ruled out calling a snap election – notably called for by Scottish Nationalist Party leader Ian Bradford – on the grounds that British voters did not want it.
Two Tory MPs openly called on Boris Johnson to step down during the session, but the most resentful charge came from Sajid Javid, whose resignation as health minister on Tuesday sparked a stir.
The former health minister said he wanted to give the prime minister one last chance after the Downing Street party scandal. But he said he was again fooled when Mr Johnson claimed he had not been made aware of allegations of sexual misconduct against Chris Pincher, who was appointed deputy Conservative government whip in February.
Mr Johnson finally admitted that he had been informed of old charges against him as early as 2019, well before naming him. He claimed he had them
forgotten and apologized for this
mistake. The controversial deputy whip resigned last week after being accused of touching two men.
Enough is enough! he launched during a tirade where he argued the importance of integrity.
The problem starts at the top, and it won’t changeMr. Javid said, inviting his Conservative colleagues to reflect on the situation.
Let’s be clear, doing nothing is a decisionhe threw at them.
Already considerably weakened by the “Partygate” scandal during the pandemic, Mr Johnson survived a vote of no confidence from his own camp a few weeks ago.
Internal party rules specify that another such vote cannot take place for a year, but opponents of the Prime Minister have lobbied the
Committee 1922competent to decide the question, so that they may be amended.
According to British media, the members of the committee, meeting in the afternoon, finally decided to proceed with the election of a new executive next Monday. It will be up to these newly elected officials to decide the question.
In addition to the situation of Mr. Pincher, several cases of a sexual nature have broken out in the British parliament in recent weeks: an MP suspected of rape was arrested, then released on bail in mid-May, another resigned in April for having watched from the pornography in parliament on his mobile phone and a former MP was sentenced in May to 18 months in prison for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy.
The departure of these last two deputies caused partial legislative elections and heavy defeats for the conservatives. The party had also suffered very poor results in the local elections in May, which raised doubts about Mr Johnson’s ability to lead his troops.
According to a Savanta ComRes poll published on Wednesday, 72% of Britons believe the Prime Minister should resign.