Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid resign from Boris Johnson's Cabinet
Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid have resigned from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.
The Chancellor and Health Secretary quit this evening after the Prime Minister apologised for his handling of the Chris Pincher row after it was said he had forgotten being told about former allegations against the former Deputy Chief Whip.
Both men pointed to public expectations of public office as they shared their resignation notes on Twitter this evening.
Richmond MP Mr Sunak said he had "come to the conclusion that we cannot continue like this".
He wrote: "To leave ministerial office is a serious matter at any time. 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 I have not taken lightly.
"However, the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I recognise this might be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for, and that is why I'm resigning."
Minutes earlier, Mr Javid had said British people [...] rightly expect integrity from their Government.”
Former leadership candidate Mr Javid said: “The tone you set as a leder 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.
“Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public are concluding that we are now neither.”
Yorkshire MPs have begun reacting to the departures of their colleagues.
Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake said he was "very sorry" to see Mr Sunak and Mr Javid go, but said they had made the "right" decision.
"Loyalty to leadership is important, but trust in our leader is vital, sadly I see no way now of the PM rebuilding this."
Meanwhile, York Outer's Julian Sturdy said it was "brilliant" to see the pair "follow their principles".
There have been renewed pressures on Mr Johnson since Mr Pincher quit as deputy chief whip last week following claims that he groped two men at a private members’ club.
It has since emerged that Mr Johnson was told about allegations against him as far back as 2019.
The Prime Minister acknowledged he should have sacked Mr Pincher when he was told about the claims against him when he was a Foreign Office minister in 2019, but instead Mr Johnson went on to appoint him to other government roles.
Asked if that was an error tonight, Mr Johnson said: “I think it was a mistake and I apologise for it. In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do.
“I apologise to everybody who has been badly affected by it. I want to make absolutely clear that there’s no place in this Government for anybody who is predatory or who abuses their position of power.”
The Prime Minister’s authority had already been damaged by a confidence vote which saw 41 per cent of his MPs vote against him.