CABINET CRISIS

Johnson hanging by a thread as Tory MPs quit

Boris Johnson at PMQs today

Boris Johnson’s grip on power was weakening by the hour as a delegation of ministers heads to Downing Street to tell him it was time to go.

Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland were among the big hitters telling the PM he must resign.

Tory backbenchers including Scottish leader Douglas Ross, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie, together with Craig Tracey, Anna Firth, Aaron Bell and Nickie Aiken have demanded that Mr Johnson resign or face a new No Confidence Vote.

The 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers was expected to meet at 5pm today to consider allowing another vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson, possibly as early as next week.

Following the dramatic resignations of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid last night, the list of departures grew to more than 40.

Bookmaker Boyle Sports said Mr Johnson was now 1/10 From 2/1 to leave Downing Street. Johnson supporters and optimists can get odds of 6/1 about him still being in the role on 1 January.

The new chancellor Nadhim Zahawi is expected to push for early tax cuts, a reversal of the corporation tax rise to 25% from next April, and a further cut in fuel duty as he tackles a number of severe challenges. Inflation is running at a 40-year high, the cost of borrowing is likely to rise further and the economy is poised to enter recession.

The FTSE 100 closed in positive mood, up 82.3 points at 7,107.77, but the political uncertainty combined with the strength of the dollar has pushed sterling 0.4934% lower to $1.1889. Earlier it fell to $1.877, new low since the early days of the pandemic.

However, talk of a summer emergency budget is running alongside speculation of an early general election.

Sajid Javid resignation speech 2022-07-06
Sajid Javid delivering resignation speech

Following Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Javid delivered a resignation statement to MPs in which he said he had spent many months giving Mr Johnson the “benefit of the doubt”, but there was a point when “enough is enough”. Rishi Sunak has no plans to make a statement.

Mr Johnson faced a volley of criticism and demands to resign, but responded by stating: “The job of a PM… is to keep going! And that’s what I’m going to do.”

After being grilled at PMQs, Mr Johnson faced the Liaison Committee which is seeking responses to the impact of the war in Ukraine on the UK, the government’s response to the rising cost of living, integrity in politics, and the rule of law.

The Committee is made up of the MPs who chair all the other select committees (health, education, defence etc).

The sessions usually last for around two hours and give MPs the chance to question Boris Johnson on all sorts of issues.

Departures so far include:

Cabinet ministers

Rishi Sunak – Chancellor

Sajid Javid – Health Secretary

Simon Hart – Wales

Ministers

Rachel Maclean – Home Office

Stuart Andrew – Housing

Jo Churchill – Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 

Victoria Atkins – Prisons and Probation 

John Glen – Treasury and City

Robin Walker – School standards

Will Quince – Children and families

Alex Chalk – Solicitor general

Julia Lopez – Culture .

Lee Rowley – Business

Alex Burghart – Education

Neil O’Brien – Levelling up

Kemi Badenoch – Local government

Mims Davies – Employment

Ministerial aides

Felicity Buchan – parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the Business Secretary

Laura Trott – PPS to the Transport Secretary

Jonathan Gullis – PPS to the Northern Ireland Secretary

Saqib Bhatti – PPS to the Health Secretary

Nicola Richards – PPS to the Department for Transport

Virginia Crosbie – PPS at the Welsh office

David Johnston – PPS to the Department for Education

Claire Coutinho – PPS to the Treasury

Selaine Saxby – PPS to the Treasury

Duncan Baker – PPS Levelling Up

Danny Kruger – PPS Levelling Up

James Daly – PPS Work and Pensions

Montgomeryshire Craig Williams and Mark Logan

Others

Bim Afolami – vice-chair of the Conservative Party

David Mundell – trade envoy to New Zealand

Theo Clarke – trade envoy to Kenya

Andrew Murrison – trade envoy to Morocco

Comment: Zahawi to seek quick fixes, but has eye on the big prize



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