Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid resign over Pincher scandal
Boris Johnson has appointed education secretary Nadhim Zahawi his new chancellor after both Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak resigned from the cabinet over the PM’s handling of misconduct allegations against Chris Pincher.
Their departures – along with that of Tory vice-chair Bim Afolami – have thrown Mr Johnson’s premiership into question and come amid mounting Tory fury at the prime minister, after No 10 admitted he was aware when promoting Mr Pincher to a role in charge of MPs’ welfare that a misconduct complaint had been upheld against him.
Downing Street denied accusations from former Foreign Office permanent secretary Lord McDonald that it was “not telling the truth” when asked previously about the matter, instead insisting that Mr Johnson did not originally “recall” being told about the complaint against Mr Pincher.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday evening, Mr Johnson expressed his “regret” and apologised for the “mistake” of promoting Mr Pincher, acknowledging that he should have sacked him when told about the claims, adding: “In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do.”
‘Conservative Party is currently unrecognisable to me’: The other Tory MPs who have quit
It’s not just Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid who have stepped down. After the two big-hitters announced their resignations, a whole raft of Conservative MPs said they would be leaving their political offices in government.
Although not as high profile, the resignation of such individuals points to the mounting sense of crisis consuming Boris Johnson’s administration, which appears poised to implode on itself after being buffeted by one scandal after another.
Samuel Lovett brings you what the government’s lesser-known quitters had to say:
Stuti Mishra6 July 2022 05:10
Time for Johnson to go, says ex-cabinet minister Lord Frost
Former Tory Brexit minister Lord David Frost has called on Boris Johnson to quit as prime minister before he takes the Conservative Party and the government “down with him”.
Lord Frost writes in The Daily Telegraph that Mr Johnson’s place in history will be secure as “one of the past century’s most consequential prime ministers”.
“That’s why it is time for him to go. If he does, he can still hand on to a new team, one that is determined to defend and seek the opportunities of Brexit, one that is able to win the next election convincingly,” the former Cabinet minister said.
“That is in the Conservative Party’s interest, in Leave voters’ interest, and in the national interest. It needs to happen.”
Stuti Mishra6 July 2022 04:48
All the major resignations under Boris Johnson’s rule
Boris Johnson’s premiership has given way to some of the most explosive resignations in recent political history – with the jumping ship of his own brother, and Tuesday’s bumper departure of Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak among the most devastating.
And Tuesday’s list of resignations did not end there, with the likes of Javid’s parliamentary private secretary Saqib Bhatti MP and trade envoy to Morocco Andrew Murrison joining its ever-growing ranks.
With his premiership hanging in the balance, we take a look back at all the major resignations under Boris Johnson’s fraught rule:
Stuti Mishra6 July 2022 04:31
Thatcher minister says Boris Johnson was ‘never fit’ to be PM
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a prominent minister in Margaret Thatcher and John Major’s governments, said Boris Johnson was “always unfit to be prime minister”.
In a Newsnight interview the former foreign secretary said Mr Johnson was now disliked across the country.
He said: “The antipathy to Boris Johnson in Scotland is matched in England and Wales as well. This is no longer a north-south divide or England-Scotland divide, pretty much the whole country thinks he’s a loser, should not be prime minister, does not have the integrity or honesty to command.”
Introducing Newsnight, presenter Kirsty Wark told viewers the producers could not find anyone willing to defend Mr Johnson on Tuesday’s programme.
Liam James6 July 2022 04:00
70% say Boris Johnson should go
Seven in 10 British adults say Boris Johnson should resign, according to a snap YouGov poll of more than 3,000 people.
YouGov said that is an 11-point rise on the number of people in favour of the prime minister’s resignation when last asked on 9 June, days after he survuved a vote of confidence by Tory MPs.
But just 21 per cent of people polled said they thought Mr Johnson will resign.
Meanwhile nearly six in 10 (56 per cent) people said they thought Rishi Sunak was right to resign as chancellor.
Liam James6 July 2022 03:00
Watch: Why did Sunak and Javid resign?
The team at Independent TV have prepared the following video to explain the background to tonight’s most seismic resignations:
Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid resign over Pincher scandal
Liam James6 July 2022 02:00
Boris Johnson forced into crisis reshuffle as Zahawi replaces Sunak as chancellor
Boris Johnson was forced into a chaotic reshuffle on Tuesday night after potential leadership rivals Rishi Sunak quit as chancellor and Sajid Javid resigned as health secretary (Adam Forrest writes).
The prime minister faces the biggest leadership crisis of his premiership after his handling of the row over scandal-hit ex-deputy chief whip Chris Pincher also sparked a flurry of resignations by envoys and parliamentary aides.
In scathing remarks, Mr Javid said voters believed the government was neither competent nor “acting in the national interest”, while Mr Sunak said Britain deserved an administration that is run “properly, competently and seriously”.
Nadhim Zahawi was promoted to be the new chancellor, with universities minister Michelle Donelan stepping up to take his place as education secretary. Steve Barclay, the PM’s chief of staff, was given the role of health secretary.
According to reports, Mr Johnson had wanted Liz Truss as chancellor but Mr Zahawi forced his hand by threatening to join the rebellion and quit if he was not given the job at No 11.
Liam James6 July 2022 01:00
Watch: Nadine Dorries filmed rushing into Downing Street after double resignation
Noted Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries rushed to the prime minister’s side this evening after the resignation of two of his key ministers.
Sky News captured this footage:
Nadine Dorries filmed rushing into Downing Street after double resignation
Liam James6 July 2022 00:00
Shadow chancellor says Zahawi ‘propping up failing’ Boris Johnson
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has accused the new chancellor of acting in his own interest.
The Labour MP tweeted after the appointment of Nadhim Zahawi to head the Treasury that the cabinet was propping up a “failing prime minister”.
Liam James5 July 2022 23:30
Another resignation for Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has lost another minister on a night of resignations.
Alex Chalk, solicitor general for England and Wales, told the prime minister he was leaving his role due to the cumulative impact of a series of scandals.
The Cheltenham MP said it was “with great sadness” he was quitting the post but he could not “defend the indefensible”.
Liam James5 July 2022 23:13