Boris Johnson refuses to step down as resignations mount
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday refused to step down as more Ministers submitted their resignations, bringing the total number to 18.
- United Kingdom
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday refused to step down as more Ministers submitted their resignations, bringing the total number to 18. Johnson said that his government would not fold after two of his senior Ministers and a string of junior officials submitted their resignation in protest of his leadership, New York Post reported.
"The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when you've been handed a colossal mandate is to keep going. And that's what I'm going to do," Johnson told lawmakers. "We are going to get on and deliver our mandate and win another general election," he added.
The last staffer to resign was Environment Minister Jo Churchill, who resigned after Johnson apologized for mishandling sexual misconduct allegations against a member of his government. "Recent events have shown integrity, competence, and judgements are all essential to the role of Prime Minister, while a jocular self-serving approach is bound to have its limitations," Churchill wrote in her resignation letter.
"Our beloved country is facing an uncertain future and strong headwinds. A clear, selfless vision is needed. The country and party deserve better and so with a heavy heart I have decided to resign," she added. Despite the influx of resignations from both senior and junior staffers, Johnson vowed to "keep going" with the job as British leader. Johnson further said that he would only quit if the government could not carry on, according to New York Post.
"Clearly, if there were circumstances in which I felt it was impossible for the government to go on and discharge the mandate that we've been given, or if I felt, for instance, that we were being frustrated in our desire to support the Ukrainian people ... then I would," Johnson told Parliament. Earlier, on Tuesday, two key ministers, namely Sajid Javid, secretary of state for Health and Social Care and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak resigned from their posts.
In his resignation letter, Sunak said he was "sad to be leaving the government", but has come to the conclusion that he "cannot continue like this". "The public rightly expects the government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning," Rishi Sunak said.
Javid said he had lost confidence in Boris Johnson's ability to govern following multiple scandals, saying he could "no longer continue in good conscience". The minister said that many lawmakers and the public had lost confidence in Johnson's ability to govern in the national interest. In his resignation letter, which he posted to Twitter, Javid told Johnson that "the values you represent reflect on your colleagues," and in light of recent scandals, the public had concluded that their party was neither "competent" nor "acting in the national interest."
The exit of the top minister comes amid the row involving the former Conservative party whip Chris Pincher, who was accused of sexual misconduct. Last week, Pincher quit as deputy chief whip after claims that he groped two men but Johnson knew about allegations against him as far back as 2019. Boris acknowledged he should have sacked Pincher when he was found to have behaved inappropriately when he was a Foreign Office minister in 2019.
The British PM said he regrets giving Pincher a government role as Deputy Chief Whip following the revelation of a misconduct complaint against him. "In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do and I apologise to everyone who has been badly affected by it. I just want to make absolutely clear that there's no place in this government for anybody who is predatory or abuses their position of power," he said. (ANI)
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