Recently, a lace scandal has turned British politics upside down again…
As of press time, 9 ministers in the UK have resigned, and the number of lower-level officials who have resigned has reached nearly 10. According to reports from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Guardian, on July 6, local time, the British Environment Secretary Joe Churchill, the British Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs John Glenn, and the British Home Office Minister of Justice Victoria Atkin Six ministers including Robin Walker, Secretary of State for Schools at the British Ministry of Education, submitted their resignations to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It comes after Health Secretary Syed Javid and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak resigned from the government after losing confidence in Johnson’s leadership. Children and Families Secretary Will Koons also followed suit, handing in his resignation.
Just before Javid and Sunak announced their resignations, Johnson made a public apology for ignoring his appointment of Christopher Pincher as the Conservative deputy whip. Pincher was revealed to have molested two men in a private members’ club in the UK on June 29, possibly both members of parliament. What is even more shocking is that as early as two years ago, Johnson was aware of people’s concerns about Pincher’s “bad habits” and bluntly said that “he (Pincher) likes to touch people.”
The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, was angry that even if he resigned, these cabinet members would not be able to escape the blame. They had long known what Johnson was like. “After all the filth, scandals and failures, it is clear that this government has It’s breaking down now.”
According to the latest polls, nearly 70% of the British people believe that Johnson should resign as prime minister. Even so, Johnson said in parliament later on the 6th that he would not resign and would “move on”.
2 senior ministers resigned first, Johnson was defeated like a mountain
It was the health secretary and the finance minister who started the resignation storm. In their resignation letters to the prime minister, both ministers pointed the finger at Johnson’s management ability.
Health Secretary Syed Javid tweeted that he had handed in his resignation to Johnson after losing confidence in his ability to govern for the good of the country after a series of scandals, saying he could “no longer conscientiously continue in Johnson’s government” serving in the middle”.
Javid said many lawmakers and the public had lost confidence in Johnson’s ability to govern in the national interest.
“The Conservative Party may not have been popular all the time, but we have the ability to act in the national interest. Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public is coming to the conclusion that we (the Conservative Party) can’t do either right now. Last month The vote of no confidence shows that many of our colleagues share this view,” Javid wrote in his resignation letter.
“Sadly, I am well aware that this will not change under your leadership, and I have lost confidence in you as a result,” he noted.
Shortly after Javid announced his resignation, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak also made his decision to resign publicly. He tweeted that he had reluctantly concluded: “We can’t go on like this.”
Sunak said the public should rightly expect the government to work “properly, competently and seriously”, realizing that this might be his last chancellor, but in his view, “these standards are worth fighting for, and we are The country is facing enormous challenges, which is why I am resigning.”
At present, Johnson has found a new replacement.
On the evening of the 5th, the British Prime Minister’s Office announced the appointment of Nadeem Zahavi as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Zahavi was previously the UK education secretary. In addition, Steve Barkley has been appointed as the new health secretary. Barkley was Johnson’s chief of staff.
The report, citing a 10 Downing Street source, said the new chancellor was “more dynamic and coherent” with Johnson, and described the new health secretary as a “huge upgrade”.
Children and Families Secretary Will Koons became the third cabinet member in 24 hours to resign on Wednesday in protest of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the sexual misconduct scandal, according to the latest news from the Guardian.
In his resignation letter, Koons said he had spoken to Johnson the night before his resignation and said he must resign anyway. He said he was deeply saddened and regretted that he had quoted “inaccurate information” provided by 10 Downing Street in an interview.
The departures of Javid and Sunak sparked a resignation storm, and other Conservatives took action one after another.
Bim Aflami said he was resigning as Conservative vice-chairman; Andrew Morrison resigned as trade envoy to Morocco; Conservative MP Chris Lord also said he had lost confidence in Johnson; from Conservative Party The Parliamentary Private Secretary, who also resigned from his junior government position in protest at Johnson’s leadership; Jonathan Gulis and Saqib Batty, who assisted the minister in carrying out their duties, posted their resignation letters on social media.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said they would stay. According to reports, Truss said he would “100% follow the Prime Minister.”
Johnson publicly apologizes
Just before the above two announced their resignation, Johnson was publicly apologizing for his indiscretion and appointing Christopher Pincher as the deputy whip of the Conservative Party, but this did not stop the “resignation storm”.
Johnson said Pincher should have been sacked by the government following the 2019 incident.
Asked if the appointment of Chris Pincher into government was a mistake, Johnson admitted, “I think it was a mistake and I apologise for it, in hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do.”
Previously, Pincher was revealed to have molested two men in a private members’ club in the UK, both of whom may have been members of the British Parliament. But Johnson was informed of the charges against him back in 2019. According to the “Daily Mail”, former British Prime Minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings said that Johnson knew about people’s concerns about Pincher’s “bad habits” as early as two years ago, and bluntly said “he (Pincher) I like to touch people.”
On June 30, Pincher resigned, and more misconduct broke out in the follow-up Pincher, which caused public opinion to question Johnson knowing that his character was still entrusted with heavy responsibility.
According to the British “Daily Telegraph”, Pincher received at least two warnings for similar incidents. The Independent reported that a Conservative MP revealed that Pincher had molested him at least twice. The Mirror said Johnson’s behavior was “turning a blind eye to sexual pests”.
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party criticized Johnson for not immediately suspending Pincher, and was forced to take action in the end. Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the Conservative Party was mired in sordid scandals and was completely unable to meet the challenges facing the British people.
Public information shows that Pincher has served as a member of the British House of Commons Tamworth constituency since 2010, and in June 2017 began to serve as the inner court minister and the Conservative Party assistant whip. Pincher resigned in November of the same year after being accused of “unwelcome sexual advances” against former British rower and Conservative candidate Alex Storey.
In January 2018, Pincher was appointed Deputy Whip and Royal Treasurer by then Prime Minister Theresa May. After Johnson took office as prime minister, Pincher once served as minister of European and American affairs, housing affairs and other positions, and then resumed his role as deputy whip and royal treasurer in February this year.
‘House of Cards’ is about to collapse
The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera and other media are pessimistic about the departure of the two senior ministers, believing that their coordinated departure will undoubtedly be a huge blow to Johnson.
According to Reuters, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, said it was clear that Johnson’s government was collapsing after the two resigned.
“After all the filth, scandals and failures, it is clear that this government is now collapsing.” He pointed out in a statement that Conservative cabinet ministers have long known what the prime minister is like.
He added that resigning cabinet ministers had been “complicit”, supporting Johnson when he broke the law, when he repeatedly lied, and when he laughed at the sacrifice of the British people.
“Johnson has disgraced his office and let the country down,” Starmer stressed. “If ministers had any conscience, they would have stepped down a few months ago.”
Scottish government chief minister Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, said, “Johnson’s end is coming. It is worth noting that ministers who resign are only ready to leave if they are deceived.”
“The ‘house of cards’ built on lies and deceit is about to collapse. Go now. You’ve disgraced your country long enough,” Lib Dem leader Ed Davey tweeted.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Health Secretary are responsible for the most pressing matters in the UK, namely the rising cost of living and the new crown epidemic, so most of the economic circles say that the move will bring the cabinet crisis to the peak, and it will be increasingly difficult for the Prime Minister to hold on to it. , it was only a matter of time before he stepped down.
Netizen: I am waiting for other ministers to resign
After news of the resignation broke, netizens started a round of spoofing mode, and even MP Andrew Morrison joined it.
Morrison’s tweets, however, left people scratching their heads. On the 5th, 61-year-old Morrison took a photo of his resignation letter and uploaded it on Twitter. Because the picture was too blurry, netizens said that they could not see the text on it clearly.
As the number of resignations continues to increase, some netizens said: “I am waiting for other ministers to resign.”
“I heard another guy named Chris quit, but who is he?”
Some netizens ridiculed Zelensky, who regarded Johnson as his best “friend”, saying that “Zelensky has turned his phone to airplane mode.”
UK parliament investigating whether Johnson misled parliament over illegal gatherings
Johnson’s authority has been eroded by a series of government scandals and a vote of no confidence in June.
Johnson survived a vote of no confidence in him by Conservative MPs in the lower house of parliament in early June, allowing him to remain in office. However, 148 of the 359 Conservative MPs voted for Johnson to step down, and 211 Conservative MPs supported Johnson in the vote, that is, more than 40% of Conservative MPs lost confidence in Johnson’s leadership.
At present, the British parliament’s lower house of privileges committee has launched an investigation into whether Johnson “misled” parliament on the issue of illegal gatherings in the Prime Minister’s Office. Johnson will face renewed pressure to resign if the inquiry finds he has “misled” Parliament.
The number of Britons who want Boris Johnson to resign has reached a new high. According to the latest survey data released by the British polling company YouGov, nearly 70% of the British people believe that Johnson should resign as prime minister.
For the first time, more people who voted for the Conservative Party in 2019 want Boris Johnson to resign than those who want him to stay.
Later on the 6th local time, Johnson will also face another important juncture in his political career. Johnson will face further pressure when he will try to regain control of the Conservative Party in his “Prime Minister’s Questions and Answers” in Parliament, where he will be questioned by the Commons Liaison Committee.
Is Johnson’s Prime Minister at Risk?
Two British ministers resigned one after another, triggering a wave of resignations from the Johnson government.
On July 5, local time, after the British Minister of Health Syed Javid and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced their resignations successively, John Glenn, the Minister of Economic Affairs of the British Ministry of Finance, and others also submitted their resignations. British Sky News reported that as of July 6, 21 officials in Johnson’s government had resigned.
In this regard, foreign media analysis believes that since the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Health are important ministers in the British cabinet, the resignation of Sunak and Javid has caused a heavy blow to the Johnson government. As more and more officials resign, Johnson’s prime ministership may also come to an end.
Two UK cabinet ministers resign
According to Reuters, on July 5, local time, two British ministers resigned one after another after losing confidence in Johnson, who had publicly supported Johnson before.
Javid first announced his resignation as health secretary. Javid said on social media that he had submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In his resignation, Javid expressed that he had lost confidence in Johnson. “It is a great honor to take this position, but unfortunately, I can no longer continue to work with conscience.”
Following Javid, Finance Minister Sunak also announced his resignation. In his resignation, Sunak said: “The public expects the government to run the country correctly, competently and conscientiously. I believe in these standards worth fighting for, and our country is facing a huge challenge to achieve them, and this is why I resign. s reason.”
Reuters noted that the resignations of the two ministers questioned the management ability of Johnson’s government, and the announcement of their resignations was only a few minutes apart, and it coincided with Johnson’s just apologizing for the latest scandal that plagued his government.
Reuters reported that Johnson’s deputy Conservative whip, Pincher, had resigned on June 30 after being accused of abusing his power and sexually harassing two male colleagues. On May 5, Johnson publicly apologized for this. “I apologize to everyone who has been affected by this. I just want to make it clear that in this government, there is no place for anyone who abuses power.”
Following the resignations of Javid and Sunak, Johnson quickly appointed new Chancellors of the Exchequer and Health.
On the evening of July 5, local time, the British Prime Minister’s Office announced that Nadim Zahavi, who was previously the British Education Secretary, and Steve Buckley, Johnson’s chief of staff, were appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of Health.
British and American newspaper headlines: Johnson’s prime minister’s career ‘on the edge’
The successive departures of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Health Secretary have added to the pressure on Johnson.
Previously, Johnson was under pressure from the opposition and the Conservative Party because of the “Partygate” scandal, and he was reprimanded by British public opinion for appointing the deputy whip of the Conservative Party who abused his power. The election was lost, and the American Politico News Network reported that these events devoured the credibility of Johnson’s government and shook the confidence of the Conservative Party and the public in Johnson’s leadership.
In addition to Javid and Sunak, British Education Secretary Will Koons, Conservative Party Deputy Chairman Beam Aflamy and others also resigned one after another. As of July 6, 21 officials in Johnson’s government had resigned.
Accordingly, the outside world believes that the credit of Johnson’s government is collapsing, and Johns’ prime ministerial career will come to an end.
Several British politicians have expressed dissatisfaction with Johnson’s government. “After all the filth, scandals and failures, the current government is clearly crumbling,” said Starmer, leader of the British opposition Labour Party. Liberal Democrat leader David said: “The ‘house of cards’ built on lies and deceit has collapsed and this government has disgraced the UK’s reputation.”
The news of the cabinet minister’s resignation was on the front pages of several British and American newspapers, saying that Johnson’s prime ministerial career may be coming to an end. The British media “Guardian” said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Health are important officials of the British government, and the resignation of Javid and Sunak is a blow to Johnson’s government, which makes Johnson’s political career “on the edge”. The headlines of British media such as the Financial Times, The Times, and the Daily Mail also used “on the edge” to describe Johnson’s situation at this time. In addition, American media such as Bloomberg and CNN also reported that (Johnson’s prime minister’s career) is really coming to an end this time.
Still facing many uncertainties
It is worth noting that the American Politico News Network commented that Johnson’s prime minister’s career will not end soon.
The reason for this is that in early June, Johnson passed a vote of no confidence in him by Conservative MPs in the lower house of the British Parliament, which means that he will not face another vote of no confidence in the next 12 months, thus allowing him to remain as the leader of the Conservative Party and the UK. Prime Minister’s office.
But in the process of remaining prime minister, Johnson still faces many uncertainties.
The American Politico News Network reported that the “1922 Committee”, a group of British Conservative MPs, was responsible for setting the monitoring rules. Now, opponents of Johnson are fighting to be elected to the executive committee of the “1922 Committee” to repeal the 12-month rule of not facing a no-confidence vote, triggering a vote of no-confidence earlier and prompting Johnson to step down.
At the same time, Johnson is also facing an investigation by the Privileges Committee of the British House of Commons, which is investigating whether Johnson “misled” Parliament about illegal gatherings in the Prime Minister’s Office. The relevant results are expected to be announced in the autumn and may lead to his resignation.
In addition, if Johnson’s cabinet resigns on a large scale and more important ministers resign collectively, Johnson’s prime ministership may also be difficult to maintain.
Beijing News reporter Zhu Yuehong edited Chen Jing to proofread Xue Jingning