UK: Boris Johnson’s leadership teetering on the edge as senior ministers quit cabinet

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid have tendered their resignation from Johnson’s cabinet

Two senior ministers in Boris Johnson’s cabinet tendered their resignation on Tuesday after the UK Prime Minister appointed a Tory MP, who had faced allegations of misconduct, to his government.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned from government saying that they no longer have confidence in Johnson’s leadership.

In his resignation letter, Sunak said that the public expect government “to be conducted properly, competently and seriously”.

“In preparation for our proposed joint speech on the economy next week, it has become clear to me that our approaches are fundamentally too different,” he wrote.

Separately, Javid said that he can no longer serve Johnson’s government in good conscience.

“The vote of confidence last month showed that a large number of our colleagues agree. It was a moment for humility, grip and new direction. 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.”

Both resignations came minutes after Johnson apologies for appointing Tory MP Chris Pincher to a government role despite being told about a complaint of misconduct against him.

Pincher was suspended as a Tory MP after facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct.

Johnson said that he was made aware of the complaint in 2019, but added that he made a big mistake in not acting on it.  

“In hindsight it was the wrong this to do,” he said. “I apologise to everybody who has been badly affected by it.”

Last month, Johnson survived a vote of no confidence despite significant revolt against his leadership.

As a result, he is protected from a Conservative leadership challenge for another year.