In the UK, the resignation of two important ministers further weakens Boris Johnson

Two of the most important ministers of Boris Johnson’s cabinet have just announced their resignation on Tuesday July 5, a decision which could threaten the political survival of the British Prime Minister already weakened by a series of scandals.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, the British finance minister, mentions“fundamentally too different approaches” with the latter in the preparation of a joint speech on the economy scheduled for next week.

Sajid Javid had deplored earlier in the day a lack of support from public opinion and parliamentarians, while Boris Johnson narrowly overcame, last month, a procedure launched by members of his Conservative Party in view to dismiss him. “I’m sorry to have to tell you (…) that it seems clear to me that the situation will not change under your leadership and that you have also lost my confidence”wrote Sajid Javid in a statement posted on Twitter.

Heavy duty cabinet support

In the evening, Boris Johnson announced that Nadhim Zahawi replaced Rishi Sunak as finance minister. The Iraqi-born Kurd arrived in the UK with his family without speaking a word of English, and went on to pursue a lucrative career in business. Mr Zahawi, 55, co-founded the renowned pollster YouGov and began his political career in Conservative circles in London, before becoming an MP in 2010. He gained popularity managing the vaccination of Britons during the pandemic.

Steve Barclay, hitherto in charge of government coordination, takes over the health portfolio, replacing Sajid Javid.

The prime minister is continuing to work as usual after the resignations, Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told Sky News. According to the BBC, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she was staying ” 100 % “ behind Boris Johnson. Defense Minister Ben Wallace would also continue to support the Conservative leader, according to British media.

However, Saqib Bhatti, Jonathan Gullis, Nicola Richards, lower-ranking members of the government, in turn announced their departures. For his part, Bim Afolami, the vice-president of the Conservative Party announced live, during a television interview, that he was resigning from his post and called on Boris Johnson to resign after losing “the support of the party and the country” following the departure of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid. Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told the BBC that the Prime Minister “should do what he should have done a while ago and resign”.

Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer has said he would support a snap election. On the BBC, he accused Conservative cabinet ministers of being accomplices to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “The Conservative Party is corrupt, and changing the man at the top won’t solve the problem. We need a real change of government and a fresh start for Britain’, he said. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, spoke on Twitter : ‘Looks like the end is near for Johnson – not too soon’.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “Partygate”: Boris Johnson obtains the confidence of Conservative MPs, but comes out of the vote very weakened

New sex scandal

The resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid were announced just after Boris Johnson spoke on television to explain the Pincher affair. Already weakened by scandals, Boris Johnson had been facing the resignation of a member of his government since Friday after accusations of touching, the latest in a series of sexual affairs in his party. In a resignation letter dated Thursday, the whip Deputy Chief Chris Pincher, in charge of parliamentary discipline for Tory MPs, acknowledges having “too much drunk” and apologizes for having “covered with shame, [lui] and other people ».

According to several British media, the 52-year-old elected official touched two men on Wednesday evening – including an MP, according to Sky News – in front of witnesses in a private London club, the Carlton Club, leading to complaints to the left.

The recent spate of sexual affairs within the ruling party for twelve years is becoming embarrassing. An unnamed MP suspected of rape was arrested and then released on bail in mid-May, another resigned in April for watching pornography in the House on his mobile phone in April, and a former MP was sentenced in May to eighteen months in prison for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy.

The departure of the latter two had caused partial legislative elections and heavy defeats for the Conservatives, followed by the departure of party president Oliver Dowden.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson refuses to resign despite the very severe conclusions of the report on “partygate”

The World with Reuters

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