Boris Johnson says it would not be ‘responsible’ if he resigned

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Boris Johnson has said it was not “responsible” to leave the number 10 given the challenges facing the country.

The prime minister was badly wounded by a wave of resignations from senior peers and junior ministers calling for his resignation.

A group of cabinet ministers – believed to include Grant Shapps and Brandon Lewis – are reportedly heading down to Downing Street to tell him to stop. Michael Gove is said to have already done so.

Mr Johnson appeared before the select liaison committee on Thursday, where he was confronted with one of his own earlier quotes about leaders holding on to power long after they have lost all authority.

Labor MP Darren Jones challenged the Prime Minister: “When a regime has been in power for too long, when it has mortally exhausted people’s patience and when oblivion finally beckons – I fear that is what you around the world are counting on allows leaders of this regime to act solely in the interests of self-preservation and not in the interests of the electorate.”

“Who wrote this quote?”

Mr Johnson joked: “They try me. Was it Cicero? Was it Aristotle? Maybe it was Plato? Montesquieu?’

Mr Jones intervened: “Just to let you know, you were Prime Minister. Maybe it was foresight.’

Who has left the government so far?

  • Sajid Javid – Minister of Health
  • Rishi Sunak – Chancellor
  • Will Quince – Minister for Children and Families
  • Alex Chalk – Attorney General
  • Bim Afolami – Vice Chairman of the Tory
  • Laura Trott – PPS at the Department of Transport
  • Andrew Murrison – Trade Envoy for Morocco
  • Jonathan Gullis – PPS to the Northern Ireland Secretary
  • Saqib Bhatti – PPS to the Minister of Health
  • Nicola Richards – PPS for the Department of Transport
  • Virginia Crosbie – PPS in the Welsh Office
  • Theo Clarke – Trade Ambassador for Kenya
  • Robin Walker – School Minister
  • John Glen – Business Secretary to the Treasury
  • Felicity Buchan – PPS at the Department of Business
  • Victoria Atkins – Secretary of Prisons
  • Jo Churchill – Secretary of Health
  • Stuart Andrew – Secretary for Housing
  • Claire Coutinho – PPS to Treasury
  • Selaine Saxby – PPS to the Treasury
  • David Johnston – PPS to the Department of Education
  • Kemi Badenoch – Minister for Equality and Local Government
  • Julia Lopez – Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure
  • Lee Rowley – Secretary of Industry
  • Neil O’Brien – Rising Minister
  • Alex Burghart – Skills Minister
  • Mims Davies, Secretary of Labor
  • Duncan Baker – PPS for the Department of Advancement, Housing and Communities
  • Craig Williams – PPS to Treasury Department
  • Rachel Maclean – Secretary of the Home Office
  • Mark Logan – PPS to the Northern Ireland Office
  • Mike Freer – Secretary of State for Exports and Equality
  • Mark Fletcher – PPS to the bDepartment for Business

He continued: “I was joking, but honestly – and this must be difficult for you personally – it’s not funny. It’s not a game, people are fighting across the country.

“It’s not brave of you to continue like this.”

Mr Johnson said: “I think the country is going through tough times. You speak of duty.

“I look at the problems this country is facing. I look at the pressure people are under and the need for government to focus on their priorities.’

He continued: “As I look at the biggest war in Europe in 80 years, I cannot for the life of me see how responsible it is to walk away from it.

“Especially not when you have a mandate like the one we won two or three years ago.”

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Justin Scacco

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