The Perfect Enemy | Boris Johnson will resign as Tories insist ‘reckless’ prime minister must go now – live updates
August 11, 2022

Boris Johnson will resign as Tories insist ‘reckless’ prime minister must go now – live updates

Boris Johnson will resign as Tories insist ‘reckless’ prime minister must go now – live updates  The Guardian

Read Time:15 Minute

Two ex-ministers have told the Guardian they think it not possible for Johnson to stay till the autumn.

One said: “He needs to be gone by tonight, Raab should take over.” Another said: “He needs to hand in the seals of office today and go. So we can have a caretaker PM.”

Another highly senior Tory source who has been with Johnson over the past 48 hours said his behaviour meant it was dangerous for the country for him to stay. The source said:

.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;}His behaviour in the last 48 hrs and been reckless and erratic. He cannot be trusted to lead the country until the autumn. God knows what he will do.

One former government adviser said it was “dangerous” for Johnson to stay in post. Another ex-minister called him “a disgrace”.

Simon Hoare, the Conservative chair of the Northern Ireland affairs committee, says it is “beyond credulity” that Boris Johnson could stay on until the autumn.

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Ministers resigned *because* of the PM. The Party lost confidence *because* of the PM. It is beyond credulity that Mr Johnson can stay in office even pro tem. New constitutional territory but he has to go and go means go

&mdash; Simon Hoare MP (@Simon4NDorset) July 7, 2022

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Ministers resigned *because* of the PM. The Party lost confidence *because* of the PM. It is beyond credulity that Mr Johnson can stay in office even pro tem. New constitutional territory but he has to go and go means go

— Simon Hoare MP (@Simon4NDorset) July 7, 2022

Rebecca Pow has resigned as environment minister. She has been at home with Covid, and it looks as if she drafted her letter before Boris Johnson announced his resignation. In the letter she says that she thinks Johnson’s position is “no longer tenable”. Johnson has now come to the same conclusion himself.

It seems that Johnson’s resignation came too late to avert a resignation that was already in the pipeline.

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This week I've been at home with Covid-19. Earlier this morning I tendered my resignation as Environment Minister. Values, integrity and the morals by which I live are at stake, and the needs of the country must always come first. My letter follows.

&mdash; Rebecca Pow (@pow_rebecca) July 7, 2022

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This week I’ve been at home with Covid-19. Earlier this morning I tendered my resignation as Environment Minister. Values, integrity and the morals by which I live are at stake, and the needs of the country must always come first. My letter follows.

— Rebecca Pow (@pow_rebecca) July 7, 2022

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pic.twitter.com/cceCsZa3qi

&mdash; Rebecca Pow (@pow_rebecca) July 7, 2022

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pic.twitter.com/cceCsZa3qi

— Rebecca Pow (@pow_rebecca) July 7, 2022

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, says she thinks it is “not sustainable” for Boris Johnson to remain prime minister until the autumn. She has posted these on Twitter.

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1. There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the last few days (indeed months) will come to an end, though notion of Boris Johnson staying on as PM until autumn seems far from ideal, and surely not sustainable? https://t.co/SQXuCC1HYH

&mdash; Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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1. There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the last few days (indeed months) will come to an end, though notion of Boris Johnson staying on as PM until autumn seems far from ideal, and surely not sustainable? https://t.co/SQXuCC1HYH

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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2. Boris Johnson was always manifestly unfit to be PM and the Tories should never have elected him leader or sustained him in office for as long as they have. But the problems run much deeper than one individual. The Westminster system is broken.

&mdash; Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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2. Boris Johnson was always manifestly unfit to be PM and the Tories should never have elected him leader or sustained him in office for as long as they have. But the problems run much deeper than one individual. The Westminster system is broken.

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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3. For 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 the democratic deficit inherent in Westminster government doesn’t get fixed with a change of PM. None of the alternative Tory PMs would ever be elected in Scotland. And in policy terms, it is hard to see what real difference hard Brexit supporting Labour offers.

&mdash; Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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3. For 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 the democratic deficit inherent in Westminster government doesn’t get fixed with a change of PM. None of the alternative Tory PMs would ever be elected in Scotland. And in policy terms, it is hard to see what real difference hard Brexit supporting Labour offers.

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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4. Independence only happens if a majority living in Scotland choose it – but there is no doubt it offers the real and permanent alternative to Westminster, and the opportunity to fulfil our potential at home and play our part as a good global citizen. It’s time for that choice.

&mdash; Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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4. Independence only happens if a majority living in Scotland choose it – but there is no doubt it offers the real and permanent alternative to Westminster, and the opportunity to fulfil our potential at home and play our part as a good global citizen. It’s time for that choice.

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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5. Lastly, my differences with Boris Johnson are many and profound. But leadership is difficult and brings with it many stresses and strains, and so on a personal level I wish him and his family well.

&mdash; Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

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5. Lastly, my differences with Boris Johnson are many and profound. But leadership is difficult and brings with it many stresses and strains, and so on a personal level I wish him and his family well.

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 7, 2022

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on whether the Queen has had any communication with Boris Johnson on Thursday morning, PA Media reports. The Queen is at Windsor Castle and the Court Circular recorded that she held her weekly audience by telephone with Johnson on Wednesday evening.

On the Today programme David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, said that he was “not too bothered” about the prospect of Boris Johnson staying on as PM over the summer. He said appointing someone else as an interim prime minister would be difficult because it looked as if half the cabinet would be running in the leadership contest. Dominic Raab is deputy PM, but Davis pointed out that Raab also has a full-time job, as justice secretary.

Keir Starmer has said Boris Johnson’s resignation is good news for the country. In a statement he said:

.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;}It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as prime minister.

But it should have happened long ago.

He was always unfit for office.

He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale.

And all those who have been complicit should be utterly ashamed.

The Tory party have inflicted chaos upon the country during the worst cost of living crisis in decades.

And they cannot now pretend they are the ones to sort it out …

We don’t need to change the Tory at the top – we need a proper change of government.

We need a fresh start for Britain.

Two ex-ministers have told the Guardian they think it not possible for Johnson to stay till the autumn.

One said: “He needs to be gone by tonight, Raab should take over.” Another said: “He needs to hand in the seals of office today and go. So we can have a caretaker PM.”

Another highly senior Tory source who has been with Johnson over the past 48 hours said his behaviour meant it was dangerous for the country for him to stay. The source said:

.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;}His behaviour in the last 48 hrs and been reckless and erratic. He cannot be trusted to lead the country until the autumn. God knows what he will do.

One former government adviser said it was “dangerous” for Johnson to stay in post. Another ex-minister called him “a disgrace”.

On the Today programme James Cartlidge, who resigned this morning as courts minister, said he thought it would be reasonable for Boris Johnson to hang on as caretake PM while the leadership contest took place.

Asked if he thought he could just return to his ministerial post, he said he did not know about that, and that as far as he was concerned he had resigned.

George Freeman, who resigned as science minister this morning, says Boris Johnson should quit now, and let a caretaker PM take over while the Tory leadership contest takes place.

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Yes. We need Ministers back at their desks.

Now PM has finally done the decent thing he needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty, allow her to appoint a Caretaker under whom Ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader properly. https://t.co/vcOb1pvrx1

&mdash; George Freeman MP (@GeorgeFreemanMP) July 7, 2022

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Yes. We need Ministers back at their desks.

Now PM has finally done the decent thing he needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty, allow her to appoint a Caretaker under whom Ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader properly. https://t.co/vcOb1pvrx1

— George Freeman MP (@GeorgeFreemanMP) July 7, 2022

The Spectator’s James Forsyth says there is growing support in the Conservative party for the proposal that Boris Johnson should be forced to stand aside almost immediately so that Dominic Raab can take over as a caretaker PM. (See 8.08am.)

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There’s a growing view among ministers that Boris Johnson should go immediately and Dominic Raab should become interim PM and reappoint all resigned ministers https://t.co/ftMXEq8Ixv

&mdash; James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) July 7, 2022

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There’s a growing view among ministers that Boris Johnson should go immediately and Dominic Raab should become interim PM and reappoint all resigned ministers https://t.co/ftMXEq8Ixv

— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) July 7, 2022

Johnson currently wants to stay on until the autumn. (Perhaps at some level he believes that by then the party might have had a change of heart?)

By the time he leaves office, Boris Johnson will have outlasted Theresa May as PM, Ian Jones from PA Media reports.

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Johnson has made it past Neville Chamberlain. Given the amount of time it will take the Tories to elect a new leader, he'll almost certainly make it past May as well. pic.twitter.com/4PvRppXlzO

&mdash; Ian Jones (@ian_a_jones) July 7, 2022

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Johnson has made it past Neville Chamberlain. Given the amount of time it will take the Tories to elect a new leader, he’ll almost certainly make it past May as well. pic.twitter.com/4PvRppXlzO

— Ian Jones (@ian_a_jones) July 7, 2022

Gavin Barwell, the Tory peer who was chief of staff to Theresa May when she was PM, told the Today programme that he thought it would be hard for ministers who have stuck with Boris Johnson right to the end to argue in a leadership contest that they would be able to represent a “significant change”. The party needed a candidate who could restore standards in public life, he said.

He said Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid could find it easier to make the case they would be change candidates because they precipitated the downfall of Johnson with their resignations on Tuesday night.

Boris Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, and agreed to stand down, No 10 sources are saying. The decision was reportedly taken at about 8.30am.

The pound was trading higher on the news of Boris Johnson’s resignation – up 0.6% at 1.198 US dollars and 0.4% stronger at 1.174 euros, PA Media reports.

Downing Street has issued a statement saying: “The prime minister will make a statement to the country today.” Boris Johnson is expected to deliver it from No 10 before lunchtime.

On the Today programme (which is still on air) Chris Philp, who resigned as a minister this morning (see 8.12am), says he thinks it would be “reasonable” for Boris Johnson to carry on as PM until the autumn.

Asked if he thinks it will be possible for him to return to his job, Philp says that is not up to him.

There is now likely to be a intense debate in the Conservative party about whether it would be appropriate for Boris Johnson to remain in office until the autumn. Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, has already said that he does not believe that is sustainable. See 8.08am.