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Boris Johnson rocked by twelve resignations but battles on defiantly

BORIS JOHNSON has been hit by further resignations, including a minister who defended him on the airwaves two days ago, as the new Chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, attempted to prop up the Prime Minister.

Will Quince resigned as children’s minister after having been sent out to defend the government on Monday morning, following Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and at least 10 government aides and envoys out of the door.

Quince said he had “no choice” after he appeared on television to defend Johnson using Downing Street briefings “which have now been found to be inaccurate”.

Laura Trott, a parliamentary aide in the transport department, also resigned, as well as Alex Chalk, the solicitor general, late on Thursday night.

Speaking to broadcasters, Zahawi, the new chancellor, said he would get on with his main task of bearing down on inflation.

Zahawi also said the prime minister was “right to apologise” over his appointment of Chris Pincher to deputy chief whip, despite having been told there were allegations about his inappropriate behaviour.

The new chancellor told the press: “I think the prime minister is right to apologise, because with the benefit of hindsight … we make decisions literally at warp speed.

“The right thing he did, in my view, was to come out and very, very openly say: ‘Look, with the benefit of hindsight, I made a mistake.’”

Who has resigned from the government so far?

Sajid JavidHealth Secretary18:02TuesdayTwitter
Rishi SunakChancellor18:11TuesdayTwitter
Andrew MurrisonTrade Envoy to Morocco19:00TuesdayTwitter
Bim AfolamiConservative Party Vice Chair19:28TuesdayTwitter
Jonathan GullisPPS – Northern Ireland19:48TuesdayTwitter
Saqib BhattiPPS – Health and Social Care19:51TuesdayTwitter
Nicola RichardsPPS – Transport20:27TuesdayTwitter
Virginia CrosbiePPS – Wales20:55TuesdayTwitter
Theo ClarkeTrade envoy to Kenya22:01TuesdayTwitter
Alex ChalkSolicitor General22:51TuesdayTwitter
Laura TrottPPS – Transport8:07WednesdayFacebook
Will QuinceEducation Minister8:25WednesdayTwitter

“He’s finished.” “It’s over.” “This is endgame territory.” Those are all variations of what senior Conservatives were saying last night about the Prime Minister.

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Boris Johnson’s apology for his handling of the Chris Pincher affair has come too late for many.

That and the devastating criticism from the former senior civil servant Lord Macdonald seems to have tipped waverers over the edge.

Ynys Môn MP, Virginia Crosbie, quit her post as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Wales Office.

She quit her government role saying she fears that if Boris Johnson continues in post he risks “irrevocably harming this government and the Conservative party.”

There’s been no comment as yet from the most senior Welsh politician in the UK Government. South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart has previously said that he wanted Boris Johnson to stay on in post.

No comment so far: Simon Hart MP

The party’s leader in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies, has been a vocal backer of Mr Johnson although even he has tempered his view in the light of recent allegations, saying the Prime Minister should “take a look in the mirror.”

He said: “I’ve always said it was essential for the Prime Minister to hold the confidence of our country, party and parliament.

“It’s disappointing that in recent months the government has struggled to deliver on its important agenda and manifesto commitments that were overwhelmingly endorsed in 2019.

“The Prime Minister must now prove that he can deliver on his mandate.”

With other resignations expected, the UK Government seems to be on the verge of collapsing.

Labour’s shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens said: “The question everyone should be asking Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid is why they backed Boris Johnson for so long.

“They knew he was dishonest. They knew he lied to and mocked the public’s sacrifices during the pandemic. And they were complicit in all the sleaze, scandal and incompetence that is the hallmark of this disgraceful government.

“Boris Johnson has disgraced his office and the country. The public deserve a fresh start and a new government.”

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said the Prime Minister’s departure is “now an inevitability”. 

She said: “Boris Johnson’s days are numbered. He’ll be dragged kicking and screaming out of Number 10 as Cabinet Ministers one-by-one find a backbone. But it is now an inevitability.

“The chaos that has consumed Westminster for years is utterly unsustainable. People are fed up of politicians who treat their lives as a game, who obsess about personalities and theatre rather than principles and vision.

“Wales have never given the Tories a majority in our country. But even if Johnson goes, the same arrogance will continue to control and command.

“We in Wales are taking steps to strengthen and modernise our democracy in stark contrast to the Westminster circus. It’s time to do better with independence.”