Fri | Aug 12, 2022

Two key UK Cabinet ministers quit Boris Johnson’s government

Published:Tuesday | July 5, 2022 | 1:06 PM
From left British Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrive at No 9 Downing Street for a media briefing on May 7, 2021. (Toby Melville/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Two of Britain's most senior Cabinet ministers resigned on Tuesday, a move that could spell the end of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's leadership after months of scandals.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned within minutes of each other after a day in which the prime minister was forced to acknowledge he had to change his story on the way he handled allegations of sexual misconduct by a senior member of his government.

“It is with enormous regret that I must tell you that I can no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this government,” Javid said in his resignation letter.

“I am instinctively a team player but the British people also rightly expect integrity from their government.''

Sunak said “the public rightly expects government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. ”

“I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning,” he added.

Both Sunak and Javid have been seen as possible leadership contenders within the Conservative Party if Johnson is forced out.

Their departures were a huge blow to the prime minister because both were in charge of two of the biggest issues facing Britain right now — the cost of living crisis and the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest scandal saw Johnson hit by allegations he failed to come clean about a lawmaker who was appointed to a senior position despite claims of sexual misconduct.

Johnson has faced pressure to explain what he knew about previous misconduct allegations against lawmaker Chris Pincher, who resigned as deputy chief whip Thursday amid complaints that he groped two men at a private club.

Minutes before the resignations of Javid and Sunak were announced, Johnson told reporters that Pincher should have been fired from the government after a previous 2019 incident.

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