British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defied growing calls to resign as members of his government continue to resign en masse.
Most important points:
- More than 32 politicians and MPs have resigned in the past two days
- The string of resignations began Tuesday after treasurer Rishi Sunak and health minister Sajid Javid suddenly quit
- Mr Johnson faces renewed calls to resign after his latest mishandling scandal in sexual harassment case
“The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when you’ve been given a colossal mandate is to keep going,” Johnson told parliament on Wednesday.
“And that’s what I’m going to do.”
Badly injured by the resignation of a spate of senior colleagues and secretaries of state who said he was not fit to rule, Mr Johnson tried to fight during the prime minister’s weekly questioning session.
With the number of layoffs rising to more than 32, some wondered if Mr Johnson could fill vacancies at a time when the government is being called upon to address a cost of living crisis and support an economy that is on the decline. on a sharp slowdown, possibly a recession.
More than 30 senior politicians and secretaries of state have left parliament a day after two cabinet members, treasurer Rishi Sunak and health minister Sajid Javid, announced their resignations in protest at Johnson’s latest gaffe, handling a sexual misconduct scandal.
His immediate fate could be decided as soon as possible later on Wednesday at a meeting of the so-called 1922 committee, formally known as the Conservative Private Members’ Committee, which sets the rules for voting for the confidence of the leaders.
A spokesman said Johnson was confident he would win a vote of no confidence.
Javid calls for more senior layoffs
In his farewell address to the British Parliament, the former health secretary said the public expected members of government to “maintain honesty and integrity” and warned of the precarious position it now finds itself in.
“We’ve seen in major democracies what happens when divisions are entrenched and not bridged,” Javid said.
“We can’t let that happen here.”
Mr Javid also called on more senior colleagues to resign on Wednesday as it became increasingly difficult to stay in government.
Mr Javid said that at some point people have to conclude that enough is enough.
“That point is now,” he said.
In his letter of resignation to the Prime Minister, the Financial Services Secretary, Mr Glen, said he could no longer reconcile his commitment to the role with “the complete lack of confidence” in Mr Johnson’s leadership.
“Recent events related to the handling of the appointment of the former Deputy Chief Whip, and the poor judgment you have shown, have made it impossible for me to proceed with my conscience,” he wrote.
Outgoing Housing Minister Stuart Andrew said he had no choice but to resign after his loyalty to the Prime Minister cost him some of his integrity.
“Loyalty and unity are qualities I have always tried to bring to our great party, but I fear I have let these override my judgment recently,” wrote Mr Stuart on Twitter.
“There comes a time when you have to look at your own personal integrity and that’s now.”
“Given the recent events, I have no choice but to resign.”
During the prime minister’s question-and-answer session on Wednesday, Conservative MP David Davis delivered a scathing attack on the embattled leader, calling on him to put the interests of the nations first and step down.
“Six months ago I called on the Prime Minister to resign because even then it was clear that his approach to leadership and integrity was already creating a pipeline of problems that will cripple a good government,” he said.
In response, Mr Johnson brushed off the comments, saying he “just couldn’t disagree with him anymore”.
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