Boris Johnson Fights For His Political Life as 44 Tory MPs Say 'No' to Him

Published July 7th, 2022 - 05:15 GMT
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered two shock departures from his government Tuesday, including his finance minister, as civil war erupted in the high command of the ruling Conservative party. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)
Highlights
Boris Johnson urged to resign by opposition, backbenchers and some Cabinet ministers after 38 resignations

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday he will not resign, vowing to remain in office despite growing calls for him to step down, according to local media reports.

A storm of resignations within the Conservative government since Tuesday saw 44 members of parliament (MPs) including two senior ministers leaving their posts.

Johnson faced calls for his resignation from opposition parties and some of his backbenchers in the House of Commons over his appointment of MP Chris Pincher as the party’s deputy chief whip, who was disgraced after being accused of drunkenly groping two men.

He remains "absolutely defiant" and "does not intend to resign,” a senior Number 10 source was quoted by Sky News as saying.

He wants to "fight on" and is likely to make more ministerial appointments, according to the source.

Late on Wednesday, Johnson sacked Housing Secretary Michael Gove, who is considered by his party colleagues to be an influential figure.

Wales Secretary Simon Hart resigned shortly after.

The prime minister has been urged to resign by some of his Cabinet ministers.

Attorney General Suella Braverman told ITV that “the balance has tipped now in favour of saying that the prime minister -- it pains me to say it -- but it's time to go."

 

Braverman said she would not resign because she felt she had a duty to her role but admitted Johnson could sack her for her comments. She added that she would contest any future leadership election.

The backdrop to the dozens of resignations came after the scandal over Pincher.

Downing Street initially said that Johnson was unaware of previous specific allegations against Pincher, but it later emerged that he was in fact informed when he was foreign minister in 2019 of previous instances of alleged misconduct on Pincher’s part.

Just before the resignations, Johnson had apologized for appointing Pincher as the deputy chief whip.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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