BIG BLOW FOR BORIS

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid quit expressing their loss of confidence in PM’s leadership amidst a spate of scandals…reports Asian Lite News

In a big blow to embattled British Prime Minister Johnson, two of his senior Cabinet colleagues, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, resigned on Tuesday, as they expressed their loss of confidence in his leadership amidst a spate of scandals.

The 42-year-old British Indian minister posted his resignation letter on Twitter soon after another senior Cabinet colleague, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, resigned.

The ministerial exits will come as a big blow to Johnson’s leadership and follow a day of high political drama since a former civil servant spoke out about Downing Street’s handling of allegations against recently suspended MP Chris Pincher.

“The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously,” Sunak tweeted.

“I recognise this may be last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning,” he said.

It came soon after Johnson said he “bitterly regrets” giving Pincher a government role as Deputy Chief Whip after being made aware 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.

Sajid Javid, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, in his resignation letter said, “We [Conservative party] may not have always been popular, but we have been competent in acting in the national interest. Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public are concluding that we are now neither.”

The vote of confidence last month showed that a large number of our colleagues agree.

“I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership and you have therefore lost my confidence too.

Johnson has been publicly backed by loyal allies Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg, who insisted the prime minister was the “right man for the job”.

The resignation of two senior cabinet ministers has plunged Mr Johnson into a fresh leadership crisis weeks after he survived a no-confidence vote.

The PM is immune from a Conservative leadership challenge until June next year under party rules, after he won 59% of the vote.

In response to the resignations, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he would welcome a snap election and the country needed a change of government.

He said: “After all the sleaze, all the failure, it’s clear that this Tory government is now collapsing.”

The next general election is expected to be held in 2024 but could be earlier if Mr Johnson used his powers to call one.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, said the prime minister’s “government of chaos has failed our country”, and called for him to go.

Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said “the whole rotten lot” in Mr Johnson’s government should go, accusing ministers of “lying to public”.

During the course of the day, some of the PM’s prominent critics called on government ministers to put pressure on the prime minister to resign.

A chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and an ex-chancellor, Sajid Javid, have done just that. Both men see their resignations as necessary if the PM is to be pushed out.

Both may be positioning for a future leadership contest. But even now, Downing Street will hope to avoid this.

Boris Johnson still has his foreign secretary, home secretary, defence secretary and business secretary.

And, remember, a beleaguered Gordon Brown survived a ministerial resignation because the rest of his cabinet stayed loyal, when he was in Number 10.

But it now seems more likely that other ministers, in more junior roles, who have been privately critical of Boris Johnson could follow Mr Sunak and Mr Javid’s lead.

The last Conservative prime minister to face a party vote on their leadership was Theresa May, who won the vote but resigned six months later over her approach to Brexit.

Johnson’s government has been dogged by a series of controversies in recent months, prompting some Tory MPs to call for the prime minister’s resignation.

Discontent among Tory MPs has grown since a highly critical report into lockdown parties in and near Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic was published earlier this year.

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