‘Cannot continue like this’: What Rishi Sunak said as he quit Johnson cabinet

Published on Jul 06, 2022 06:07 AM IST

UK PM Boris Johnson has been embroiled in various scandals, including the so-called "Partygate" affair, which saw him receive a police fine for breaking his own coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Downing Street.

Rishi Sunak reacts as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London.(AFP / File)
Rishi Sunak reacts as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London.(AFP / File)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav

British chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid quit the government on Tuesday amid mounting pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson for appointing a tarnished member of the Parliament to a key government position. The resignation of the two senior cabinet ministers came when Johnson, in a televised address, was acknowledging that it was a “mistake” to promote Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip in February, two years after being made aware of a misconduct complaint against the Conservative MP.

The Downing Street initially claimed that the prime minister was not aware of the sexual misconduct allegations against Pincher but the defence collapsed after a former top civil servant said Johnson, as foreign minister, was told in 2019 about another incident involving his colleague.

“I think it was a mistake and I apologize for it,” Johnson said of Pincher’s promotion. “In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do. I want to make absolutely clear that there’s no place in this government for anybody who is predatory or who abuses their position of power.”

Also Read | UK PM names Nadhim Zahawi as new finance minister after Rishi Sunak resigns

Sunak posted his resignation letter on social media minutes after Johnson’s apology during the televised address, saying “this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

“To leave ministerial office is a serious matter at any time. For me to step down as Chancellor while the worl is suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other serious challenges is a decision that I have not taken lightly,” the letter read.

“However, the public rightly expect the 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.

Here's the resignation letter from Rishi Sunak:

Here's Boris Johnson's reply:

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