Boris Johnson’s time as UK Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader looks set to end in the next few days following a remarkable 24 hours of resignations from government positions – with the latest YouGov polling suggesting that 2/3 of Brits want the PM to step down.
Despite having recently survived a vote of no confidence from the party’s backbenches, Johnson was hit with a double-whammy of resignations yesterday from Sajid Javid, then Health Secretary, and Rishi Sunak, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. At the time of writing another 34 ministers have also joined them in resigning from cabinet or government positions.
Both statements issued alluded to controversies around the PM’s judgement and behaviour, and that his position was no longer tenable. Refurbishments to No10 Downing Street at the taxpayer’s expense, fines for the PM and former Chancellor over Covid lockdown breaches, talk of taking a large cash donation for a children’s treehouse, allegations of inappropriate conduct in the Foreign Office with his now-wife Carrie whilst he was still married to QC Marina Wheeler (whilst battling cancer), and now a u-turn over Chris Pincher MP – of whom the Prime Minister denied knowing about past allegations of indecent behaviour and then admitted a few days later that in fact he had known and still appointed him to government.
I have spoken to the Prime Minister to tender my resignation as Secretary of State for Health & Social Care.— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) July 5, 2022
It has been an enormous privilege to serve in this role, but I regret that I can no longer continue in good conscience. pic.twitter.com/d5RBFGPqXp
To add insult to injury, the pound has suffered its worst day for two years as a booming US dollar hit sterling – and the UK’s political soap opera kicked the currency while it was down.
Criticism from some MPs, like Michael Gove, won’t come as too much of a surprise, but when the newly-appointed duo of Nadhim Zahawi (new Chancellor) and Michelle Donelan (new Education Secretary) join the ranks of senior Tory MPs calling for you to fall on your sword… it seems like Boris’ time is up.