UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is battling to stay in office, amid a political crisis in the country, as two more ministers resigned from the UK government on Wednesday.
This has taken the total resignations from his government to 16 in the past day.
Health Minister Sajid Javid and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak had earlier dramatically announced their resignations within minutes of each other on Tuesday, after the prime minister survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
New Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has urged unity after his predecessor Sunak and several junior ministers walked out.
The wave of resignations was triggered following a row over Mr. Johnson’s decision to appoint Chris Pincher deputy chief whip earlier this year.
Mr. Pincher was accused of sexual misconducts and had to step down as government whip on July 30 after allegations first arose against him.
Mr. Johnson has admitted it was a ‘bad mistake’ to appoint Mr. Pincher, despite being aware of misconduct allegations against him.
In his resignation letter, Sunak said, ‘For me to step down as Chancellor while the world is suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other serious challenges is a decision that I have not taken lightly. However, 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 also spoke about tensions regarding decision-making over the economy, saying the PM and his approaches had become ‘fundamentally too different.’
Will Quince, minister for children and families, said he had ‘no choice but to tender my resignation’ while junior transport minister Laura Trott said she was quitting over a loss of ‘trust’ in the government.
If the Conservative Party decides to change the one-year rule, where the sitting PM gets immunity from a formal challenge for a year, rebel Tory MPs could try to oust Mr. Johnson from the top job later this year.
If Mr. Johnson loses a vote of no confidence in Parliament, he would have to resign or call for fresh elections.
In the event of further resignations from his government, he would have to resign himself, possibly in the face of Cabinet pressure.
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