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Boris Johnson fights for political survival as wave of resignations continues – live updates | Politics


Chris Philp resigns as tech minister, stressing importance of ‘integrity, honesty and trust’ in politcs

Chris Philp has resigned as minister for tech. In his resignation letter, he says he cannot serve under Boris Johnson any longer because of the importance of “integrity, honesty and trust” in politics.

I’m deeply saddened it has come to this, but the PM should step down given public and Parliamentary confidence has clearly gone, and given the importance of integrity in public life. I’m therefore stepping down as Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy now pic.twitter.com/iXyd7inBQP

— Chris Philp (@CPhilpOfficial) July 7, 2022

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I’m deeply saddened it has come to this, but the PM should step down given public and Parliamentary confidence has clearly gone, and given the importance of integrity in public life. I’m therefore stepping down as Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy now pic.twitter.com/iXyd7inBQP

— Chris Philp (@CPhilpOfficial) July 7, 2022

On the Today programme Suella Braverman, the attorney general, is being interviewed now. Normally when a minister is one the programme it is because they have been nominated by No 10. But last night Braverman said Boris Johnson should stand down, and this morning she is on the programme freelancing.

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Despite calling for Johnson to go, Braverman has not resigned – and she has not been sacked.

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Asked if Britain still has a functioning government, Braverman replies: “Technically, yes we do.”

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She says she chose not to resign because, as attorney general, she has duties to fulfil on behalf of the country.

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Chris Philp has resigned as minister for tech. In his resignation letter, he says he cannot serve under Boris Johnson any longer because of the importance of “integrity, honesty and trust” in politics.

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Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, says Boris Johnson should resign immediately.

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He also suggests the Conservative 1922 Committee executive should meet again soon to bring forward another no confidence vote if Johnson does not quit. The executive met yesterday afternoon, but decided against an immediate change to the rules. Instead it made arrangements for the election of a new executive on Monday, after which the rules could be changed.

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It has been widely assumed that, after announcing his resignation, Johnson will stay on in office while a new Tory leader is elected. This is what has always happened in the past. When Conservative MPs elected their leader, the handover took place quickly, but party members now vote on the leader and this meant Theresa May remained in office for several weeks while her successor was chosen.

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Frost says this should not allowed to happen this time. He says Johnson cannot credibly stay on as a caretake prime minister, and that Dominic Raab, the deputy PM, should stand in for him during the leadership contest.

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Guy Opperman has resigned as pensions minister. In his resignation letter, he tells Boris Johnson “the government simply cannot function with you in charge”.

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And George Freeman seems to have quit as science minister. He has written a coruscating letter saying that Boris Johnson is presiding over a “constitutional crisis” and that he no longer has confidence in Johnson’s “leadership of our country, government or party”. He tells the PM:

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I’m afraid the culmination of your lack of transparency and candour with parliament (and willingness to ask your ministers to mislead parliament), your removal of key pillars of the ministerial code, your handling of your appointment of a deputy chief whip who it turns out you knew had a history of sexual abuse allegations, is too much. This is seriously damaging public trust and respect for government, democracy and the law, and this great party’s long tradition as the party of standards, character, conduct, integrity and duty to office and country before partisan self-interest.

n

Your leadership, the chaos in No 10, breakdown of cabinet collective responsibility and collapse of public confidence in government represents a constitutional crisis. It is also now seriously undermining our authority in key negotiations on the world stage at a time of urgent international crises.

n

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Freeman also says in the letter he is writing to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the Conservative 1922 Committee, calling for a fresh no confidence vote in Johnson.

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But, although the letter reads like a resignation letter, Freeman does not explicitly say in it that he is resigning. (This is not the first time that Freeman has left some ambiguity in a public statement about his position on Boris Johnson.)

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UPDATE: Freeman later confirmed he was resigning.

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Damian Hinds has resigned as security minister. Hinds, who served in cabinet as education secretary under Theresa May, says in his resignation letter there has been a “serious erosion” of standards in public life under Boris Johnson. And he says:

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More important than any government or leader are the standards we uphold in public life and faith in our democracy and public administration.

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Because of the serious erosion in these, I have come to the conclusion that the right thing for our country and for our party is for you to stand down as party leader and prime minister.

n

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Good morning. Boris Johnson is still prime minister. For weeks many Tories have been urging the cabinet to mount a coup against him, and force him out. A minimalist version of that happened yesterday, but Johnson saw them off and now he remains head of a government that appears fatally weakened, bereft of credibility – and much smaller than usual (because of all the ministers who have resigned).

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Here is our overnight round-up.

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Two cabinet ministers resigned on Tuesday night (Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid), yesterday a third was sacked (Michael Gove), and a fourth resigned (Simon Hart). And within the last few minutes a fifth has gone – Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary. In his resignation letter Lewis said Johnson’s government was now “past the point of no return”.

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This morning another more junior minister has resigned too. In her letter explaining why she quit her post as Treasury minister, Helen Whately, said there were only so many times the PM could apologise for something that went wrong and hope to move on.

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Lewis’s resignation means 22 ministers have now left the government. (Many more PPSs have quit, but they are much less important.) It is debatable whether the government can even function with some many jobs left vacant. But Johnson may well continue in office until next week, when it seems certain that the Conservative backbencher 1922 Committee will change the rules to allow another no confidence vote in Johnson, which he would lose.

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Quite what will happen today is anyone’s guess, but we will be covering all the developments here.

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Key events:




www.theguardian.com

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