Home UK & World Rishi Sunak resigns as chancellor in destablising blow to Boris Johnson

Rishi Sunak resigns as chancellor in destablising blow to Boris Johnson


Rishi Sunak has resigned as chancellor in a destablising blow to Boris Johnson’s premiership, just moments after Sajid Javid announced he had also quit the government.

Mr Sunak said “the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously”, adding: “I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

The chancellor, who had been preparing a joint speech on the economy with Mr Johnson, said on Tuesday: “It has become clear to me that our approaches are fundamentally too different”.

He added: “I am sad to be leaving government but I have relcutantly come to the conclusion that we cannot continue like this”.

Just minutes before the chancellor posted his resignation letter on social media, Mr Javid, the health secretary, also announced his departure from government.

In an incediary letter, the cabinet minister said the British people “expect integrity from their government” but voters now believed Mr Johnson’s administration was neither competent nor “acting in the national interest”.

“The tone you set as a leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country,” he wrote.

The resignations will increase the pressure on Mr Johnson to resign after months of damaging headlines over the Partygate scandal, a double by-election defeat, and narrowly surviving a confidence vote in June.

The move also came moments after the prime minister ended his silence on his handling of complaints regarding the former deputy chief whip Christopher Pincher conduct, apologising for the “mistake” of giving him a government role.

Speaking on Monday, however, the prime minister, denied lying to aides about his knowledge of allegations against Mr Pincher, who resigned last week after fresh claims emerged about his conduct in the Carlton Club.

But other senior ministers, including the foreign secretary Liz Truss, the deputy prime minister Dominic Raab, and the defence secretary Ben Wallace, made clear they were standing by the embattled prime minister.

An ally of Ms Truss, viewed as a potential leadership candidate, said she was “100% behind the PM”. A source close to Mr Raab said he was “loyal” to Mr Johnson, while an ally of Priti Patel, the home secretary, said “she’s staying”.

Responding to the resignations Sir Keir Starmer has said “it’s clear that this government is now collapsing” and said cabinet ministers who have resigned have been “complicit” as the prime minister “disgraced his office”.

The Labour leader said in a statement: “After all the sleaze, the scandals and the failure, it’s clear that this government is now collapsing. Tory cabinet ministers have known all along who this prime minister is.”


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