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Sajid Javid Tells MPs “The Problem Starts At The Top” As He Savages Boris Johnson

Sajid Javid Tells MPs “The Problem Starts At The Top” As He Savages Boris Johnson

Sajid Javid delivered a personal statement to the Commons after his resignation from Boris Johnson's Cabinet (Alamy)

3 min read

Sajid Javid told MPs “enough is enough” as he delivered a searing personal statement criticising Boris Johnson’s leadership following his shock resignation last night.

The former health secretary, who stepped down from Cabinet over the handling of the Chris Pincher affair, said last month he gave the Prime Minister “the benefit of the doubt one last time".

But he added he had now: “concluded that the problem starts at the top, that it is not going to change, and that those of us in a position to do so have a responsibility to make a change.”

Speaking in the Commons directly after Wednesday’s PMQs, he said he was "instinctively a team player" but “treading the tightrope between loyalty and integrity has become impossible in recent months”.

"I also believe a team is as good as its team captain and a captain is as good as his or her team,” Javid said. “So, loyalty must go both ways.

"The events of recent months have made it increasingly difficult to be in that team.

"It's not fair on ministerial colleagues to go out every morning defending lines that don't stand up and don't hold up.

"It's not fair on my parliamentary colleagues, who bear the brunt of constituents' dismay in their inboxes and on the doorsteps in recent elections.

"And it's not fair on Conservative members and voters who rightly expect better standards from the party they supported."

His statement came after a wave of further resignations from Johnson's government this morning, with multiple ministers standing down.

Referencing his previous resignations from government, he said “colleagues will be forgiven for sharing my sense of deja vu, despite what it might seem, I am not one of life's quitters”, adding that it was a “wrench” to leave the work fixing the NHS backlogs behind and plans to enact long-term reform of our health and care systems.

The Bromsgrove MP, who has served in both David Cameron and Theresa May’s Cabinets, also claimed he was lied to about the extent of parties in Downing Street during lockdown.

Javid said when the first stories emerged late last year he was “assured at the most senior level” that “there had been no parties in Downing Street and no rules were broken”.

Adding that he "gave the benefit of the doubt” and went out on the media, but “then we had more and more stories”, the Sue Gray report, changes in Number 10 – however “now this week again we have had reason to question the truth and integrity of what we have been told”.

 “At some point we have to conclude that enough is enough,” he told MPs. “I believe that point is now.”

He added: “I fear that the reset button can only work so many times. There’s only so many times you can turn the machine off and on again before you realise there is something fundamentally wrong.

“Last month I gave the benefit of the doubt one last time, but I have concluded that the problem starts at the top, that it is not going to change, and that those of us in a position to do so have a responsibility to make a change.”

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