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UK health, finance ministers resign over ‘lack of confidence’ in Boris Johnson

UK health, finance ministers resign over ‘lack of confidence’ in Boris Johnson
July 05
20:51 2022

Sajid Javid, UK secretary of state for health and social care, and Rishi Sunak, UK treasury chief, have both resigned their positions. 

The two UK ministers announced their resignations minutes apart on Tuesday.

The resignations come after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised over his handling of the concerns raised over Chris Pincher, deputy chief whip, after reports of alleged sexual misconduct linked to the latter.

Pincher quit as deputy chief whip last week following claims that he groped two men at a private members’ club.

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Asked if it was an error to appoint Pincher to the government, Johnson said: “I think it was a mistake and I apologise for it. In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do.”

In their resignation letters to the prime minister, both ministers expressed reservations over Johnson’s approach to governance.

Javid said he had lost confidence in the prime minister’s ability to govern in national interest.

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“The tone you set as a leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country. Conservatives at their best are seen as hard-headed decision-makers, guided by strong values. We may not have always been popular, but we have been competent in acting in the national interest,” the health minister’s letter to the prime minister reads in part.

“Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public are concluding that we are now neither. The vote of confidence last month showed that a large number of our colleagues agree. It was a moment for humility, grip and new direction.

“I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too.”

On his part, Sunak said he had come to the point where he realised his approach to governance is “fundamentally too different” from Johnson’s.

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“Our country is facing immense challenges. We both want a low-tax, high-growth economy, and world class public services, but this can only be responsibly delivered if we are prepared to work hard, make sacrifices and take difficult decisions,” the letter reads in part.

“I firmly believe the public are ready to hear that truth. Our people know that if something is too good to be true then it’s not true. They need to know that whilst there is a path to a better future, it is not an easy one. In preparation for our proposed joint speech on the economy next week, it has become clear to me that our approaches are fundamentally too different.

“I am sad to be leaving Government but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we cannot continue like this.”

Meanwhile, the development comes weeks after Johnson survived a no-confidence vote — a decision by lawmakers to determine if the UK prime minister is fit to continue in office.

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Announcing the result of the votes after it was cast on June 6, Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee — a panel of Conservative members of parliament — said Johnson got 211 votes out of the 359 votes cast by lawmakers.

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