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Two key UK ministers resign in protest against PM’s leadership

LONDON (Xinhua) -- British Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak resigned on Tuesday in protest against Prime Minister Boris

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centre), Health Secretary Sajid Javid (left) and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak attending a press conference in London.(File photo)

Johnson’s leadership as a barrage of scandals left the Conservative government reeling.
Javid said he “can no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this government,” while Sunak criticised the government’s lack of competence.
“The tone you set as leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country,” Javid said in his resignation to Johnson posted on his own Twitter page. He concluded that the Conservative Party has neither been “popular” nor “competent in acting in the national interest.”
“This situation will not change under your leadership and you have therefore lost my confidence,” Javid said.
“The country needs a strong and principled Conservative party, and the party is bigger than any one individual,” he added.
In his resignation posted on Twitter, the chancellor wrote, “The public rightly expect 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,” Sunak said.
“I served you loyally and as a friend, but we all serve the country first. When made to choose between those loyalties there can only be one answer,” he added.
Months of scandals have dogged Johnson and his government, casting doubt on the Conservatives’ future in the next general election in 2024.
Though Johnson recently survived a no-confidence vote within his party over the “Partygate” scandal that saw him and government employees revel in alcohol-fueled parties at Downing Street over the past two years when the country was in COVID-19 lockdown, lawmakers who voted against him amounted to more than 40 percent.
Last month, the Conservative Party lost two crucial House of Commons seats in by-elections.
The latest scandal involved Johnson’s appointment of lawmaker Christopher Pincher to deputy chief whip despite being informed of formal complaints about his sexual misconduct.
Johnson went on television to apologise for Pincher’s appointment minutes before the two cabinet ministers’ announcements of resignation.
Johnson’s political opponents have quickly pounced at the departure of the two key ministers as well as its damage on Johnson’s premiership and the Conservative party as a whole.
Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labour party, said, “After all the sleaze, the scandals and the failure, it’s clear that this Government is now collapsing. Tory cabinet ministers have known all along who this Prime Minister is.”
“They have been complicit every step of the way as he has disgraced his office and let down his country. If they had a shred of integrity they would have gone months ago,” Starmer said.
“Only a real change of government can give Britain the fresh start it needs,” he added.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey tweeted, “A House of Cards built on lies and deceit comes crashing down. Go and go now. You have discredited our great country long enough.”

(Latest Update July 7, 2022)

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