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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Here Are All The Tory MPs That Have Resigned From Boris Johnson’s Government So Far


10 min read

Boris Johnson’s government has been hit by a slew of high-profile resignations in the last 24 hours as he battles to keep hold of his leadership.

Two senior members of Cabinet — chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid — quit within minutes of each other on Tuesday evening, with both claiming they had lost confidence in Johnson as the Prime Minister.

Their resignations prompted many others to follow suit, with numerous parliamentary private secretaries (PPSs) and trade envoys announcing they were leaving their posts.

Many MPs have also been announcing that they have submitted fresh letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

The mass exodus came following the admission from Downing Street that Johnson had been briefed about allegations against former deputy whip Chris Pincher in 2019.

The Tamworth MP lost the party whip last week after it was alleged that he had groped two men at central London's Carlton Club.

Here is the full list of the resignations so far:

Sajid Javid, health secretary

Shortly after 6pm on Tuesday evening, Sajid Javid posted on Twitter that he was resigning as health secretary. Announcing his departure, he said that he could “no longer continue in good conscience” serving in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

Rishi Sunak, chancellor

Minutes after Javid quit, chancellor Rishi Sunak posted his own resignation letter on Twitter. He said that he recognised “this may be my last ministerial job” but that “standards are worth fighting for”.

Andrew Murrison, trade envoy

Dr Murrison, who backed Johnon's leadership bids in 2016 and in 2019, announced he was stepping down from his role as trade envoy to Morocco. In his letter, he said that handling of the allegations against Pincher were the “last straw in the rolling chaos of the past six months”.

Jonathan Gullis, PPS

2019-intake MP Gullis, previously an outspoken supporter of Boris Johnson, resigned from his role as PPS in the Northern Ireland office. He claimed the Tory party had become “more focused on dealing with our reputational damage rather than delivering for the people of this country”.

Saqib Bhatti, PPS

Bhatti, another MP from the 2019 intake, announced on Tuesday that he was quitting his role as PPS to the health secretary. He said that “the events of the past few months have undermined public trust” in the Conservative party.

Bim Afolami, Conservative Party vice chairman

Tory MP and party vice chairman Afolami resigned live on air during an interview with TalkTV, claiming Boris Johnson no longer had his support or the support of the party. “I think for that reason he should step down,” he said.

Nicola Richards, PPS

Richards, PPS to transport ministerial team, claimed in her resignation letter that the Tory party was “currently unrecognisable” and that she “cannot bring myself to serve as a PPS under the current circumstances”.

Virginia Crosbie, PPS

Crosbie, who served as PPS for the Wales Office, wrote in a scathing letter to the Prime Minister that he “cannot be trusted to tell the truth” and that this “can never be a position to inhabit for anyone in public life, let alone a Prime Minister”.

Alex Chalk, solicitor general

Solicitor general Chalk claimed in his resignation letter that he could not “defend the indefensible” and that the public’s confidence in Downing Street “has irretrievably broken down”.

Theo Clarke, trade envoy

Clarke was the second trade envoy to quit their post on Tuesday, having served as the envoy to Kenya. She claimed in a statement announcing her departure that Johnson had shown a “severe lack of judgement and care” over his handling of the Pincher allegations.

Laura Trott, PPS

Trott, another Department of Transport PPS, announced her resignation on Wednesday morning, claiming that “trust in politics is – and must always be – of the upmost importance, but sadly in recent months this has been lost”.

Will Quince, children's minister

Quince became the first of two education ministers to quit on Wednesday morning, claiming in his resignation letter that he felt he had “no choice” to quit after he was asked to state government lines to the media “which have now been found to be inaccurate”. 

Robin Walker, schools minister

The next education minister to go was Walker, who claimed in his resignation letter that the Tory party has “become distracted from its core missions by a relentless focus on questions over leadership”.

Felicity Buchan, PPS

Buchan became the next PPS to quit, announcing she was leaving her role with the business department as the PM had “lost the confidence of my constituents and me" and that "the current situation is untenable".

John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury

Glen, a key ally of both Sunak and Javid, announced that he was leaving his role as economic secretary to the Treasury on Wednesday morning because he felt it was “impossible for me to square continued service with my conscience”.

Victoria Atkins, justice minister

Justice minister Atkins announced on Instagram that she had resigned from her role, claiming she had watched with "growing concern" at the PM's response to recent scandals, and cited the "casual mistreatment of Minister Will Quince" as one of her reasons for resigning. "I can no longer pirouette around our fractured values," she added.

Jo Churchill, environment mininster

Jo Churchill resigned from her role as a minister at Defra, saying that "integrity, competence and judgement are all essential to the role of Prime Minister, while a jocular self-serving approach is bound to have its limitations". 

Stuart Andrew, housing minister

Stuart Andrew resigned as housing minister, writing: "I pay tribute to all my ministerial colleagues, officials, and civil servants in the Department and the wider sector." He said that a time had come to look at "personal integrity".

Selaine Saxby, PPS

The Defra PPS wrote in a statement that "trust, truth and integrity are vital in our work" and that she had not spoken out sooner so as not to pose a "distraction" from the recent by-elections.

David Johnston, PPS 

The education PPS said in a statement: "I cannot defend what has taken place these past few days – or indeed these past few months."

Claire Coutinho, PPS

Coutinho, PPS to the treasury minister, announced on Facebook that "the events of recent weeks and months are preventing" the party from focusing on "the twin challenges of war in Europe and global inflation".

Mims Davies, DWP minister

Davies resigned with a tweet saying: "I thank everyone @DWP from bottom of my heart for all their work, friendship & support. But @Conservatives needs a fresh start & I can see no other way forward than this."

Kemi Badenoch, Neil O'Brien, Julia Lopez, Lee Rowley and Alex Burghart

All five of these government ministers resigned with a joint letter in which they said it was clear the government could not function "given the issues that have come to light".

Duncan Baker, PPS

Baker resigned as a PPS in the DLHUC department. He wrote: "The breakdown in trust from the last six months is abundantly clear. The latest situation to unfold regarding Chris Pincher only compounds those feelings, with many now recognising the situation is clearly unsustainable."

Craig Williams, PPS

Williams, who was PPS to the Chancellor, said he had given the PM the benefit of the doubt after the vote of confidence and "focus on rebuilding trust". But in his letter to Johnson he added: "It has now become apparent over recent days, that this is becoming impossible. It is therefore with deep regret that I must resign from your government."

Mark Logan, PPS

The MP for Bolton North East resigned as PPS in the Northern Ireland Office, saying "there is only so much anyone can expect my constituents to accept or ignore".

Rachel Maclean, safeguarding minister

The Redditch MP wrote to the PM of her work improving the "woefully low rate of prosecutions for sexual offences" that: "I have regretfully concluded that recent events demonstrate that while you remain in office, it will not be possible to make progress with this vitally important task."

Mike Freer, exports and equalities minister

Freer resigned saying "we are moving away from the One Nation Conservative party that I joined, not least in creating an atmosphere of hostility for LGBT+ people".

Mark Fletcher, PPS

Fletcher described Johnson as “an apologist for someone who committed sexual assault” in a letter in which he alleged Johnson suggested it was the fault of colleagues "who had allowed him to drink so much".

Sara Britcliffe, PPS

Britcliffe resigned as an Education PPS, saying "This Government has achieved so much start delivering on levelling up in Hyndburn and Haslingden. But, this self-inflicted crisis risks undoing all of that."

Ruth Edwards, PPS

Edwards said she was "heartbroken" to learn that Johnson had been aware of the Pincher allegations and appointed him anyways. She added that she believed her resignation would carry "little weight" but said she could no longer serve under a leader who has "turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual assault within its own ranks".

Peter Gibson, PPS

Gibson stepped down as International Trade PPS saying he was "deeply saddened" to see so many "people of principle" leaving the Government. He added that "whilst I wish it were not so, I feel that my personal integrity, loyalty to my constituents, and to our party means that I must do so now".

Jacob Young, PPS

Young stepped down as Housing PPS shortly after Downing Street sources said Johnson would fight to stay on after Cabinet ministers met with him on Wednesday evening.

Danny Kruger, PPS

Kruger resigned as PPS following the sacking of his boss at DHLUC – Michael Gove. He said he was "very sorry indeed".

David Mundell, trade envoy

Mundell stood down as trade envoy to New Zealand, saying: "I am very disappointed that the Prime Minister has not listened to the counsel of colleagues and stood down voluntarily in the interests of the country."

Simon Hart, Welsh secretary

Hart's resignation followed the sacking of Michael Gove. He wrote "colleagues have done their utmost in public and private to help you turn the ship around, but it is with sadness I fear we have passed the point where this is possible."

Ed Argar, health minister

Argar's resignation followed hot on the heels of Hart's. He wrote that a "change was needed" for the party to fulfil its ambitions.

Brandon Lewis, Northern Ireland secretary

Lewis, a major ally of Johnson, tweeted a resignation letter in which he said that values of "honesty, integrity and mutual respect" were no longer being upheld, and that he was "now past the point of no return".

Helen Whately, treasury minister

Whately, a former care minister, said she was resigning "with sincere regret", and that there was only so many times Johnson could "apologise and move on". 

Damian Hinds, security minister

Hinds wrote: "It shouldn’t take the resignation of dozens of colleagues, but for our country, and trust in our democracy, we must have a change of leadership."

George Freeman, science minister 

Freeman wrote: "The chaos in No 10, the breakdown of Cabinet collective responsibility, the abandonment of the ministerial code, the defence of impropriety & defiance of Parliament are all insults to the Conservatism I believe in and stand for."

Guy Opperman, pensions minister

Opperman resigned on Thursday morning, writing in a letter published on Twitter that “no one individual, however successful in the past, is bigger than the party, or this great country".

James Cartlidge, courts minister

Cartlidge wrote: "I have felt duty bound to remain in post because of the very challenging situation in the Crown Court. But it’s clearly impossible to continue."

Chris Philp, digital technology minister

Philp wrote: "I’m deeply saddened it has come to this, but the PM should step down given public and Parliamentary confidence has clearly gone, and given the importance of integrity in public life."


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