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Boris Johnson news – live: PM knew ‘first-hand account’ of allegations against Pincher before promoting him

Chris Pincher allegations do ‘huge damage’ to trust in parliament, says Tory minister

Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak have quit Boris Johnson’s Cabinet amid anger over his handling of misconduct allegations against Chris Pincher.

Their departures come amid mounting Tory fury at Mr Johnson, after No 10 admitted he was aware when promoting Mr Pincher to a role in charge of MPs’ welfare that a misconduct complaint had been upheld against him.

Downing Street denied accusations from former Foreign Office permanent secretary Lord McDonald that it was “not telling the truth” when asked previously about the matter, instead insisting that Mr Johnson did not originally “recall” being told about the complaint against Mr Pincher.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday evening, Mr Johnson expressed his “regret” and apologised for the “mistake” of promoting Mr Pincher, acknowledging that he should have sacked him when told about the claims, adding: “In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do.”

But in his resignation letter, Mr Javid said he could “no longer continue in good conscience” as health secretary, while the chancellor’s said that “standards are worth fighting for”.


Tory MP predicts further ministerial resignations

More Cabinet ministers will resign and Boris Johnson “will be shown the door”, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has said.

“I guess they [Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid] finally got where much of the party got weeks if not months ago, that we just can’t carry on like this,” he told the PA news agency.

“What a shambles. It has been a shambles.”

Asked what he thinks prompted Mr Javid and Mr Sunak to resign, Mr Bridgen said: “The Pincher situation and the prime minister shown to have been lying again.”

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 19:08


Sir Keir Starmer urges Cabinet ministers to ‘act in the national interest and resign’

Sir Keir Starmer has called on members of the Cabinet to resign in response to Boris Johnson’s handling of the Chris Pincher scandal, as described the Tory Party as “tearing itself apart today”.

Speaking to journalists shortly before news of Rishi Sunak’s resignation broke, the Labour leader said those remain in the Cabinet would be “nodding dogs” if they did not quit.

“What we’re seeing this week is a repeat of what we’ve seen so many times, which is government ministers going out onto the airwaves, giving answers to questions, and no sooner have they finished the media round that the answers they’ve given aren’t accurate because the prime minister and No 10 haven’t been straight with them,” he said.

“That is not this week’s story, although it is this week’s story, it’s every week’s story. It’s on repeat, which is why you see the Conservative Party tearing itself apart today. Should his Cabinet members make sure he leaves office, yes they should. It’s their responsibility, in the national interest, to remove him from office.

“They know what he’s like, he’s said that he’s psychologically incapable of changing, and therefore they have to do what’s in the national interest and remove him.”

He continued: “They should resign, or force him to resign. They have to step up in the national interest now, otherwise they are nodding dogs in this. I would say to them directly: act in the national interest and resign.”

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:52


Several ministers reported to be lining up behind PM

As speculation swirls around Boris Johnson’s future, sources close to various Cabinet ministers have said that they will remain loyal to the prime minister.

An ally of foreign secretary Liz Truss, viewed as a potential leadership candidate, said she was “100% behind the PM’’.

A source close to Ben Wallace, who has also been tipped as a potential successor to Mr Johnson, told the PA news agency that the defence secretary “is not resigning”, while an ally of Priti Patel said: “She’s staying”

A spokesperson for Dominic Raab is reported to have told Sky News that the justice secretary “is loyal to the PM”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Alister Jack are also staying, Sky’s Tom Larkin reports.

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:48


Sunak and Javid resignations ‘were not coordinated’, claim suggests

A Treasury source has claimed that Rishi Sunak only found about about Sajid Javid’s resignation after he had submitted his own, indicating that their actions were not coordinated, ITV’s Robert Peston reports.

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:36


Tim Shipman of the Times has alluded to the fact that a sudden announcement of Durham Police’s looming verdict over whether Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner broke Covid rules would mean Boris Johnson’s future is not the only one in question this evening.

Their verdict is reportedly expected within the coming days.

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:33


Watch: Boris Johnson apologises over Chris Pincher scandal

You can watch Boris Johnson’s apology over his handling of allegations against Chris Pincher here:

Boris Johnson apologises for allowing Chris Pincher to remain and admits it was ‘mistake’

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has more on the prime minister’s televised apology, news of which was quickly dwarfed by the double resignations of two key members of his Cabinet.

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:28


‘Time to wheel the lectern out?’ asks Angela Rayner

Labour’s deputy leader has asked whether it is time to wheel the No 10 lectern out.

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:24


‘It’s all over’ for Boris Johnson, minister says

Here’s the damning verdict from one Cabinet minister on the double resignation, according to Sky News:

“Boris will have to go now. It doesn’t matter what the rest of us do. Once you lose your chancellor and health secretary it’s all over.”

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:22


Breaking: Rishi Sunak resigns as chancellor

Rishi Sunak has gone now too.

The chancellor said: “The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.

“I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:17


Johnson expresses ‘regret’ over Pincher allegations response

Dodging the question on whether he did say “Pincher by name, pincher by nature”, Boris Johnson said: “What I can tell you is that, if I look at the background of this and why I regret it so much, is that about three years ago there was a complaint made against Chris Pincher in the Foreign Office, the complaint was cleared up, he apologised.

“It was raised with me, orally, I was briefed on what had happened. If I had my time again I would think back on it and recognise that he wasn’t going to learn a lesson and he wasn’t going to change and I regret that.”

Andy Gregory5 July 2022 18:11


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