Home » News » World » Tories In Tumult: Zahawi, Barclay Replace Sunak, Javid But Questions Remain About Boris' Future
3-MIN READ

Tories In Tumult: Zahawi, Barclay Replace Sunak, Javid But Questions Remain About Boris' Future

By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

News18.com

Last Updated: July 06, 2022, 08:45 IST

Two of Britain’s most senior Cabinet ministers have quit, a move that could spell the end of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership after months of scandals. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned within minutes of each other. (Image: Toby Melville/PA via AP)

Two of Britain’s most senior Cabinet ministers have quit, a move that could spell the end of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership after months of scandals. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned within minutes of each other. (Image: Toby Melville/PA via AP)

The alarm bells were ringing for Boris Johnson after the Partygate scandal but the bypoll defeats, poor show at the council polls and now sexual assault allegations against MP Pincher has put his future as UK PM in danger

UK prime minister Boris Johnson continues his struggle to continue as the prime minister as Tuesday resignations of chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid.

“I am sad to be leaving the government but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion we cannot continue like this,” Sunak said in his letter.

Javid wrote: “We may not have always been popular but we have been competent in acting in the national interest. Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public are concluding that we are now neither.”

Both of them submitted their resignations on Tuesday and in their letters pointed that the party is not able to focus on helping the electorate since it is busy cleaning up the image of Boris Johnson – in the wake of sexual assault allegations against MP Chris Pincher, the Partygate scandal and the twin bypoll defeat.

Boris Johnson was swift to recover his authority as he appointed former education secretary Nadhim Zahawi as his chancellor and gave the health secretary portfolio to Steve Barclay.

However, Zahawi’s appointment could have been done under duress as the MP of Iraqi descent threatened to quit if he was not given the role. Foreign secretary Liz Truss was pegged to be the chancellor. This later, in British political circles, undermined the authority of the embattled prime minister.

The resignations came after allegations were leveled against Boris Johnson accusing him of appointing MP Chris Pincher as chief whip despite being briefed about the sexual assault allegations against him in 2019.

The allegations against Boris Johnson were brought forth by former Foreign Office permanent secretary Simon McDonald who in his letter made it clear that Boris was informed of the allegations that Chris Pincher groped two men at an event for the Conservative Friends of Cyprus at the Carlton Club in Piccadilly.

There were other resignations also: Alex Chalk quit from his role as solicitor general, Jonathan Gullis stepped down as a parliamentary private secretary and Bim Afolami resigned from his role as vice-chair of the party. Andrew Murrison, a Tory former minister, resigned as a trade envoy after the news broke.

Will Boris Be Replaced? By Whom?

Several names are making the rounds in Westminster that if Boris were to resign who would be the top contenders. Rishi Sunak, after his show of support following the bypoll defeats last month to Boris, may have hurt his chances but his resignation may help him rise to become one of the favorites for the No. 10.

He is a powerful figure within the Tories and wields considerable influence among other Tory members.

The tax controversy surrounding his wife Akshata Murthy and his attendance at a gathering which was part of the Partygate scandal may affect his chances.

Bookmakers Coral have also pegged former defense secretary Penny Mordaunt for the top job. She was among those who gained prominence as a Brexiter but according to the Guardian was not on Boris’ good books for her support to Jeremy Hunt.

She, however, remains as an emerging favorite within the Tories and could be UK’s next female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.

Defense secretary Ben Wallace, foreign secretary Liz Truss, former health secretaries Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt are also among the contenders for the top job.

Jeremy Hunt could replace Johnson for his ability to bring some stability within the Tories while Wallace’s chances are boosted due to the war in Ukraine where he has been lauded for his handling of the issue.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News, watch Top Videos and Live TV here.

first published:July 06, 2022, 07:57 IST
last updated:July 06, 2022, 08:45 IST