Boris Johnson has vowed to stay on as prime minister even though more than a dozen MPs, including two senior cabinet officials, have resigned and left his administration in the past 24 hours.
“In difficult circumstances, the job of a prime minister when he has received a great mandate must continue,” Prime Minister Johnson told the British Parliament on July 6, according to Reuters . “And that’s what I’m going to do.”
Prime Minister Johnson made the statement when asked by a Conservative MP under what circumstances he should resign.
Earlier, on the evening of July 5, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and British Health and Social Care Minister Sajid Javid simultaneously announced their resignations, causing a great shock in British politics.
Both said they could not tolerate the scandalous culture that had dogged Mr Johnson for months, especially the accusations of partying amid the UK’s lockdown.
The two officials left government minutes after Mr Johnson apologized for promoting Chris Pincher, a senior Conservative member accused of groping two men while intoxicated. Mr. Pincher resigned last week.
Prime Minister Johnson then appointed former Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi as Britain’s new Finance Minister, to replace Mr. Sunak. Meanwhile, Mr. Steve Barclay, Chief of Staff for Downing Street, was appointed Health Secretary to replace Mr. Javid.
Before that, after Deputy Minister for Children and Families Will Quince (not a member of the cabinet) resigned early on July 6, dozens of other figures followed. Some MPs who had been loyal to Prime Minister Johnson also withdrew their support.