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New Chancellor Zahawi Defends Johnson As Resignations Continue

New Chancellor Zahawi Defends Johnson As Resignations Continue
3 min read

The new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has spent his first morning in the job defending Boris Johnson, as resignations continue from government.

Speaking on Sky News, Zahawi denied reports that he'd threatened to resign unless he was given the job of Chancellor instead of it going to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, adding: "We've got a task ahead of us to rebuild the economy and... grow the economy."

He went on: "This is a team game, you play for the team and you deliver for the nation. Our focus has to be on delivery. Sometimes walking away may give you some respite... but the idea you have to deliver for the country – a country that's given me, given my family everything, is the right thing to do." 

However, while he spoke on the morning breakfast round, Laura Trott, a rising star of the 2019 intake, quit as PPS to the Department for Transport, saying: "Trust in politics is – and must always be – of the upmost importance, but sadly in recent months this has been lost. "

Moments later Will Quince resigned as Minister for Children and Families. Zahawi was told while he was being interviewed on Radio 4 – and responding to Trott's resignation.

It followed a swathe of resignations last night, beginning with Sajid Javid from the position of Health Secretary and Rishi Sunak as Chancellor.

The resignation drama unfolded after Johnson apologised for promoting Chris Pincher to Deputy Chief Whip, despite being told he had faced complaints over inappropriate behaviour back in 2019 and previously denying awareness of them.

A steady drip of resignations followed. Solicitor General Alex Chalk announced he was quitting his front bench role because he could no longer "defend the indefensible" and believed it was time for "fresh leadership". He was preceded by Jonathan Gullis, Saqib Bhatti and Nicola Richards' resignations as PPS, while Bim Afolami has quit as the Conservative party's vice chairman. 

Johnson will face back benchers and opposition MPs today at Prime Minister's Questions, before he is questioned by the Liaison Committee on integrity in politics among other matters.


Here is the full list of the resignations so far:

Sajid Javid, health Secretary

Rishi Sunak, chancellor

Andrew Murrison, trade envoy

Jonathan Gullis, PPS

Saqib Bhatti, PPS

Bim Afolami, Conservative Party vice chairman

Nicola Richards, PPS

Virginia Crosbie, PPS

Alex Chalk, solicitor general

Theo Clarke, trade envoy

Laura Trott, PPS

Will Quince, children's minister

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