Boris Johnson faces UK parliamentary grilling, desperate to remain PM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is struggling to maintain a grip on power in No 10 Downing Street as ministers and aides continue to quit his government in protest at his leadership.
It has only been weeks since Mr Johnson survived a no-confidence vote sparked by revelations that he had attended parties in government offices at a time when government policy expressly forbade social gatherings due to COVID-19.
He was accused of ignoring concerns about the personal behaviour of Chris Pincher, who went on to take multiple government positions.
Mr Pincher quit as deputy chief whip after allegedly assaulting two men while drunk at London’s Carlton Club.
The outrage about the story prompted multiple cabinet resignations, most recently that of Will Quince, who quit as children and families minister.
The minister said he could not accept being sent out to defend the PM on TV with inaccurate information in the Pincher row.
Laura Trott quit as a ministerial aide, saying “trust in politics is and must always be of the utmost importance, but sadly in recent months, this has been lost.’’
Their resignations early on Wednesday followed a string of departures from the government on Tuesday, led by Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, who delivered broadsides at Mr Johnson as they quit their cabinet posts.
Mr Sunak’s replacement as chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, hinted at reversing a planned rise in corporation tax as part of the effort to restore trust between the leadership and lawmakers from Mr Johnson’s Conservative.
Mr Quince was one of the ministers sent on the airwaves to defend Mr Johnson’s position about Mr Pincher.
The PM later acknowledged he had previously been informed of allegations against Mr Pincher dating back to 2019 and said he regretted keeping him in government beyond that point.
Mr Quince said he had received a “sincere apology’’ from Mr Johnson for being sent out with an inaccurate briefing about the prime minister’s knowledge of events.
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