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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration was thrown into disarray on Tuesday when two prime ministers resigned minutes apart amid a host of other resignations, just weeks after he narrowly survived a no-confidence vote from his own Conservative party.
Health Minister Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced their resignations in letters posted on Twitter.
“The public rightly expects the government to behave properly, competently and seriously,” Sunak said in his resignation letter. “I understand that this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”
“In preparation for our proposed joint economic presentation next week, it became clear to me that our approaches are fundamentally too different,” he added. “I am sad to leave the government, but I reluctantly came to the conclusion that we cannot continue in the same spirit.”
Javid said in his letter that it was a privilege for him to be Minister of Health, but a series of mistakes undermined public confidence.
“Perhaps we were not always popular, but we skillfully acted in the national interest. Unfortunately, under the current circumstances, the public is coming to the conclusion that we are now neither,” he wrote.
He also referred to the June no-confidence vote that kept Johnson in office. 211-148 Conservative MPs.
“It was a moment of humility, grip and new direction,” he wrote in his letter. However, I regret to say that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership and therefore you have also lost my trust.”
Saqib Bhatti, Parliament’s private secretary, also resigned on Tuesday, saying he could not continue to support the Johnson administration.
“The Conservative and Unionist Party has always been a party of honesty and honor. I feel that standards in public life are paramount and the events of the last few months have undermined public confidence in all of us,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I’ve been wrestling with these issues for some time and my conscience won’t let me continue to support this administration.”
The registration comes after Johnson was forced to apologize for his treatment of former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher, who resigned last week amid accusations that he groped two guests at a private meeting.
Other resignations on Tuesday included Andrew Merrison, who was Johnson’s trade representative in Morocco, Jonathan Gullis, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Bim Afolami, one of the Conservative Party’s vice chairmen.