Boris Johnson clings to office as cascade of resignations grows

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a tough questioning session in Parliament after two more ministers resigned their positions on July 6: Will Quince, from the Children and Family portfolio, and Robin Walker, Minister of State for school standards; as well as the subordinate minister of Housing and other deputies. Johnson vowed to “move on” despite calls for his resignation after months of discontent over ethics issues within the ruling Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson’s continuity as prime minister is on the line.

The British government leader faces tough challenges at the weekly prime minister’s question session in Parliament and a scheduled questioning several days ago by a committee of high-level lawmakers.

“The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when he has been handed a colossal mandate is to carry on and that is what I am going to do,” Johnson said during the questioning.

During the parliamentary session, Johnson defied the requests of some deputies to resign, after this Wednesday, July 6, two more ministers resigned from their positions in protest at what they consider to be a lack of confidence in the premier. Panorama that plunges the British Government into a crisis. They are Will Quince, from the Children and Family portfolio and Robin Walker, Minister of State for school standards.

Also resigning in the last hours were Laura Trott, parliamentary private secretary in the Department of Transport and deputy, and Felicity Buchan, parliamentary private secretary in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and legislator. Shortly after, the Deputy Minister for Housing, Stuart Andrew, joined the cascade of resignations.

“Loyalty and unity are traits I have always strived to provide our great party with. However, I am afraid I have let these override my judgment recently. There comes a time when you have to look at your own personal integrity and that time It’s now,” Andrew posted on his Twitter account.

While the question session was going on in Parliament, the resignations of three other legislators arrived: Selaine Saxby, Claire Coutinho and David Johnston, parliamentary private secretaries, who help the ministers in their functions.

This was followed by the joint resignation of five junior ministers: Kemi Badenoch, Equality Minister (recently described by the ConservativeHome website as a possible outside candidate for Tory leadership); Neil O’Brien, Minister for Leveling, Alex Burghart, Minister for Skills, Lee Rowley, Minister for Business and Julia López, Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure.

“It has become increasingly clear that the government cannot function given the problems that have come to light,” the five noted in their resignation letter.

In addition, Mims Davies, who has served in Parliament as an MP and Under Secretary of State for Employment, left office.

On Tuesday 5 July, Downing Street was already shaken when two top cabinet members resigned within minutes of each other: Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid, who said they could no longer serve under a scandal-plagued tenure.

Johnson tried to deal with the discontent and quickly replaced the two officials. He promoted Nadhim Zahawi from the Education Department to the Treasury and installed his chief of staff, Steve Barclay, as health secretary.

But the series of resignations has not stopped. In less than 24 hours, at least 16 senior officials, including ministers, junior ministers and legislators, have left the Johnson Administration.

The scandals that shake Johnson’s continuity

The Government of one of the world’s leading powers has been shaken by months of discontent over issues of ethics and conduct within its Administration.

The leader has been fined by the Police and criticized for the investigative report on the controversy known as ‘Partygate’, Johnson’s parties with other officials in Downing Street when the country faced strict confinement due to Covid-19.

The latest scandal began last week when legislator Chris Pincher resigned as Conservative deputy chief amid complaints that he groped two men in a private club. That set off a series of reports about past allegations against Pincher and questions about why Johnson promoted him to a high-level position to enforce party discipline.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for Sunak and Javid was the Prime Minister’s shifting explanations of his handling of the controversy.

The premier’s apologies were not enough and fail to stem the obvious discontent. In a scathing resignation letter, Sunak stated that “the public rightly expects government to function properly, competently and seriously… I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

What awaits Boris Johnson?

Johnson’s opponents in the party hope more cabinet ministers will follow through on the resignations, though for now other top officials, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Interior Secretary Priti Patel, say they are leaving. they stay where they are.

Furthermore, his opponents are also trying to force another no-confidence vote against the prime minister.

Although the head of the British Government survived a motion of censure on June 6 and, according to the law, he must wait at least 12 months before a vote of this nature can be called again, the rules are drawn up by a powerful party committee and the elections for its Executive are scheduled for the coming weeks.

The future of Johnson’s term is uncertain. Although for now the rules may contain him in office, the series of scandals leave the prestige of the party on the floor, which is why since the last motion of censure several analysts have pointed to the “beginning of the end” of the current British Government.

With Reuters, AP and local media

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