Three British cabinet ministers, including the finance and health ministers, resigned on Tuesday, in what looked to be a final blow for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had tried to apologize for the latest scandal involving sexual misconduct complaints about one of his ministers.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced his resignation in a statement, saying he could “no longer continue in good conscience.”
Moments later, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak also announced he was quitting. By the end of the night, Johnson’s Solicitor General for England and Wales, Alex Chalk, had also stepped down, saying in a statement that it was time for “fresh leadership.”
The resignations came as Johnson was apologizing for what he said it was a mistake to not realize that former whip and Tory MP Chris Pincher was unsuitable for a job in government after complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him.
WATCH | Boris Johnson apologizes for Pincher appointment:
U.K. PM apologizes for government appointment
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he believed it was ‘a mistake’ to appoint former whip Chris Pincher to his government after complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him. Johnson said if he were given a second chance, he would have done things differently.
“In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do. I apologize to everyone who’s been badly affected by it,” Johnson told broadcasters.
Johnson may face 2nd confidence vote
Johnson’s authority had already been shaken by a series of government scandals and a vote of non-confidence last month. He survived, but 41 per cent of Conservatives voted to remove him from office.
The prime minister’s shifting responses to months of allegations about lockdown-breaking parties in government offices that ultimately resulted in 126 fines, including one levied against Johnson himself, fuelled persisting concerns about his leadership abilities.
Even before the Pincher scandal, suggestions were swirling that Johnson may soon face another confidence vote.
In the next few weeks, Conservative lawmakers will elect new members to the committee that sets parliamentary rules for the party.
Several candidates have suggested they would support changing the rules to allow for another vote of non-confidence. The existing rules require 12 months between such votes.