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Boris Johnson fighting for future as children’s minister Will Quince becomes latest senior Tory to resign – live

Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid have led a string of resignations, with children’s minister Will Quince and schools minister Robin Walker the latest to go

Robin Walker has resigned as schools minister, saying he no longer has faith in Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Walker was a minister of state at the Department for Education. A prominent one nation Tory, his father, Peter Walker, was a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet (although seen as a “wet”). In his letter, Walker says he considered Johnson an “instinctive one nation Conservative” but thought the government was now making too many mistakes.

I have today offered my resignation from the Government & look forward to supporting @conservatives & campaigning for #Worcester from the backbenches, it has been a privilege to work to support our brilliant schools pic.twitter.com/giOm0wCArw

— Robin Walker (@WalkerWorcester) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/WalkerWorcester/status/1544603001670746112","id":"1544603001670746112","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"877bbe50-4197-4ddb-bb6c-aa213ae42a41"}}">

I have today offered my resignation from the Government & look forward to supporting @conservatives & campaigning for #Worcester from the backbenches, it has been a privilege to work to support our brilliant schools pic.twitter.com/giOm0wCArw

— Robin Walker (@WalkerWorcester) July 6, 2022

Boris Johnson is going to have to conduct a mini reshuffle quite soon. He has two ministers to replace at the Department for Education (Robin Walker and Will Quince), and he needs a new solicitor general to replace Alex Chalk. (There are various PPSs and trade envoys to replace too, but there will be no rush to make those appointments.)

Johnson is due to give evidence to the Commons liaison committee this afternoon at 3pm. Most of the MPs on the committee are very critical of him, and perhaps he is wondering if he can give it a miss, arguing that he needs to focus on the reshuffle instead?

Robin Walker has resigned as schools minister, saying he no longer has faith in Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Walker was a minister of state at the Department for Education. A prominent one nation Tory, his father, Peter Walker, was a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet (although seen as a “wet”). In his letter, Walker says he considered Johnson an “instinctive one nation Conservative” but thought the government was now making too many mistakes.

I have today offered my resignation from the Government & look forward to supporting @conservatives & campaigning for #Worcester from the backbenches, it has been a privilege to work to support our brilliant schools pic.twitter.com/giOm0wCArw

— Robin Walker (@WalkerWorcester) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/WalkerWorcester/status/1544603001670746112","id":"1544603001670746112","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"96cfa4f6-1b49-43b3-b5b3-11e97a8c9672"}}">

I have today offered my resignation from the Government & look forward to supporting @conservatives & campaigning for #Worcester from the backbenches, it has been a privilege to work to support our brilliant schools pic.twitter.com/giOm0wCArw

— Robin Walker (@WalkerWorcester) July 6, 2022

Yesterday Andrew Murrison, the Conservative MP, resigned as a government trade envoy saying he thought Boris Johnson’s position was “unrecoverable”. In an interview this morning with Sky News, he said his decision to quit was a “long burn”. Normally he was an “arch loyalist”, he said. But he said he came to the point where he decided “enough is enough”.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, will be pleased to hear him use that phrase. “Enough is enough” is what she said repeatedly at PMQs last week when making the case for the PM to go.

Murrison said the mood amongst Tory MPs was “fevered”. There was a sense this was “the beginning of the end”, he said, and he said he would be very surprised if there were not further resignations.

Andrew Murrison

Gavin Barwell, who was chief of staff to Theresa May when she was PM, says Nadhim Zahawi is right to say divided parties don’t win elections (see 8.19am) - but wrong to think the party can unite beyind Boris Johnson.

He is right, but there is zero chance of the party uniting behind Johnson. We have almost certainly reached the point where a majority of Conservative MPs - and more importantly voters - have lost confidence. The sooner his remaining supporters realise this the better https://t.co/59nIJMfSXA

— Gavin Barwell (@GavinBarwell) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/GavinBarwell/status/1544599298117083137","id":"1544599298117083137","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"396cf2c9-cea2-4962-8aa2-375df0719d18"}}">

He is right, but there is zero chance of the party uniting behind Johnson. We have almost certainly reached the point where a majority of Conservative MPs - and more importantly voters - have lost confidence. The sooner his remaining supporters realise this the better https://t.co/59nIJMfSXA

— Gavin Barwell (@GavinBarwell) July 6, 2022

Barwell seems to be right about Tory votes. Last night YouGov released polling showing that, for the first time, more people who voted Conservative in 2019 want Boris Johnson to resign than want him to stay.

The number of Britons who want Boris Johnson to resign has reached a new high, at 69%.The majority of 2019 Conservative voters (54%) also want to see the PM go, the first time this has been higher than the number who want him to stay (33%)https://t.co/EdF2u3hW1Z https://t.co/dNLiHNtf6E pic.twitter.com/uQb2x5bZtB

— YouGov (@YouGov) July 5, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/YouGov/status/1544425921435901952","id":"1544425921435901952","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"62ccc651-f542-40ab-92b7-925e42fc241a"}}">

The number of Britons who want Boris Johnson to resign has reached a new high, at 69%.

The majority of 2019 Conservative voters (54%) also want to see the PM go, the first time this has been higher than the number who want him to stay (33%)https://t.co/EdF2u3hW1Z https://t.co/dNLiHNtf6E pic.twitter.com/uQb2x5bZtB

— YouGov (@YouGov) July 5, 2022

In interviews this morning Nadhim Zahawi, the new chancellor, repeatedly suggested that Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications chief, was somehow responsible for stirring up Tory opposition to Boris Johnson.

Nadhim Zahawi has a go at Alastair Campbell."The people who are egging us on to divide & to turn on one another, are people like Alastair Campbell, & where ever he is you want to be on the opposite side of the argument"#KayBurley #BBCBreakfast pic.twitter.com/pyF0ldp5c9

— Haggis_UK ???????? ???????? (@Haggis_UK) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/Haggis_UK/status/1544565499253723136","id":"1544565499253723136","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"d3c953cd-3b5d-4b1d-80de-4df99fbe7f3a"}}">

Nadhim Zahawi has a go at Alastair Campbell.

"The people who are egging us on to divide & to turn on one another, are people like Alastair Campbell, & where ever he is you want to be on the opposite side of the argument"#KayBurley #BBCBreakfast pic.twitter.com/pyF0ldp5c9

— Haggis_UK ???????? ???????? (@Haggis_UK) July 6, 2022

Campbell, who now hosts the excellent the Rest is Politics podcast with former Tory cabinet minister Rory Stewart, seems to welcome his new position as the Conservative party’s number one Labour hate figure.

Hello @nadhimzahawi - good to hear I am getting right under your skin. Getting lots of media bids asking me to to respond to your rants about me this morning. FYI I have barely even started yet!! That you can continue to prop up this lying crook who debases everything 1/3

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/campbellclaret/status/1544571221475577860","id":"1544571221475577860","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"69184822-16f3-404a-bfce-1a835f9b93f3"}}">

Hello @nadhimzahawi - good to hear I am getting right under your skin. Getting lots of media bids asking me to to respond to your rants about me this morning. FYI I have barely even started yet!! That you can continue to prop up this lying crook who debases everything 1/3

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022

he touches suggests you are straying too close to the dark side too. And by the way now you’re chancellor you should expect far greater scrutiny of your business history. Know what I mean? Check out @MichaelLCrick for starters 2/3

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/campbellclaret/status/1544571222914105345","id":"1544571222914105345","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"85114dda-b42b-489a-a9a1-e979d9b6720f"}}">

he touches suggests you are straying too close to the dark side too. And by the way now you’re chancellor you should expect far greater scrutiny of your business history. Know what I mean? Check out @MichaelLCrick for starters 2/3

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022

Ps what did you actually achieve at Education? Nada … see you soon I hope!! 3/3

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/campbellclaret/status/1544571224700887043","id":"1544571224700887043","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"f96d0ac6-e4a1-41a5-84ee-315d78a09f83"}}">

Ps what did you actually achieve at Education? Nada … see you soon I hope!! 3/3

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022

BREAKING NEWS … I have moved out of my home in North London. Now living rent free inside the head of the new Chancellor of the Exchequer @nadhimzahawi

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/campbellclaret/status/1544582344237109248","id":"1544582344237109248","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"1464f9c4-d8b1-409c-bc5e-ccabb6f36077"}}">

BREAKING NEWS … I have moved out of my home in North London. Now living rent free inside the head of the new Chancellor of the Exchequer @nadhimzahawi

— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 6, 2022

Sajid Javid did not take questions as he left his home in south-west London this morning after resigning as health secretary last night. According to the Evening Standard, as he got into his car he told journalists: “Morning, thanks for coming. It is good to see you.”

Sajid Javid leaving his home this morning following his resignation yesterday as health secretary.
Broadcasters outside Downing Street this morning.

The Tory papers have (mostly) turned on Boris Johnson this morning. Here is a round-up.

‘On the brink’: how the Tory press turned on Boris Johnson (apart from the Express)
Read more

If he can stay in office for three more days, Boris Johnson will have served longer as PM than Neville Chamberlain, according to Tom Newton Dunn from Talk TV.

Boris Johnson must continue as PM for 3 more days to beat Neville Chamberlain’s length of service, and 33 days to beat Theresa May’s (he’d dearly love to do both, as a bare minimum). Will he do either? Absolutely nobody knows yet. pic.twitter.com/loPDcJXnVR

— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/tnewtondunn/status/1544589700534599681","id":"1544589700534599681","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"5defe657-4c42-4228-8413-20d2f33ff953"}}">

Boris Johnson must continue as PM for 3 more days to beat Neville Chamberlain’s length of service, and 33 days to beat Theresa May’s (he’d dearly love to do both, as a bare minimum). Will he do either? Absolutely nobody knows yet. pic.twitter.com/loPDcJXnVR

— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) July 6, 2022

And Will Quince has resigned as minister for children and families. Quince defended Boris Johnson in interviews on Monday and he says he has resigned because he used false information in those interviews that he had been given by No 10.

Quince said he had been given a “categorical assurance” by No 10 that Johnson was not aware of any “specific” allegation made against Pincher when he appointed him to the post of deputy chief whip earlier this year. That was not true.

Will Quince given 'categorical assurance' from No 10 over Pincher allegations – video
00:27

Quince says in his resignation letter that he spoke to Johnson last night and that Johnson delivered a “sincere apology”. But Quince says he has to resign anyway because he repeated what he was told by No 10 “in good faith”.

Effectively he is saying he regards saying things that are untrue to the public as a resignation matter - even though he was not to blame. There are many of his colleagues who do not apply the same standard, and who have given false information to viewers on the basis of a No 10 briefing but who have not resigned.

In his letter Quince says:

.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;}Dear Prime Minister.

Thank you for meeting with me yesterday evening and for your sincere apology regarding the briefings I received from No 10 ahead of Monday’s media round, which we now know to be inaccurate.

It is with great sadness and regret that I feel that I have no choice but to tender my resignation as minister for children and families as I accepted and repeated those assurances in good faith.

With great sadness and regret, I have this morning tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister after I accepted and repeated assurances on Monday to the media which have now been found to be inaccurate. I wish my successor well - it is the best job in government. pic.twitter.com/65EOmHd47p

— Will Quince MP ???????? (@willquince) July 6, 2022\n","url":"https://twitter.com/willquince/status/1544583312353673217","id":"1544583312353673217","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"9e00c983-6b52-4625-bd35-f428a1c91e20"}}">

With great sadness and regret, I have this morning tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister after I accepted and repeated assurances on Monday to the media which have now been found to be inaccurate.

I wish my successor well - it is the best job in government. pic.twitter.com/65EOmHd47p

— Will Quince MP ???????? (@willquince) July 6, 2022

Laura Trott has just resigned as a PPS (parliamentary private secretary). She has posted this on her Facebook page.

.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;}I want to update you all, that I have resigned from my role as parliamentary private secretary, to the Department of Transport. Trust in politics is – and must always be – of the upmost importance, but sadly in recent months this has been lost. Thank you to all of you who have written to me expressing your views. I have read them carefully, and taken them into consideration as part of my decision. I have, and will always, put the residents of Sevenoaks and Swanley front and centre of my work in Westminster.

Q: On inflation, there is an argument that you cannot afford tax cuts when inflation is a problem because that will fuel inflation. That is what Rishi Sunak thought. But there is another argument that tax cuts are needed, because they will fuel growth. Is that why you were appointed?

Zahawi says that is not right. He says he was appointed because he would be evidence-led. He will rebuild the economy, and promote growth.

Zahawi has now slipped into talking about the vaccine delivery programme, saying the focus on data, evidence and transparency made it a success. That is what he will do with policy generally, he says.

Robinson says the data and evidence shows that taxes are going up to a record high under this government. Why not tell people the truth? Tough times demand high taxes.

Zahawi says his focus is on promoting growth. 2023 is going to be hard for growth.

Q: Taxes are going up?

Zahawi does say “Yes”, but rapidly moves on.

Zahawi says the PM told him last night to focus on “delivery, delivery, delivery”. But it must be a team effort. He goes on:

.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;}Divided teams do not attract votes.

(That does not bode well for Zahawi’s party, in the light of everything else being said by his Tory colleagues today.)

Q: Everything ministers have told us about what No 10 knew about Chris Pincher was untrue. It was only when Simon McDonald spoke out they told the truth?

Zahawi says the PM apologised last night. “In my view that’s good leadership,” Zahawi says (he is referring to apologising for your mistake).

Q: But you and he did not tell the truth when you said he did not know about the Pincher allegations when he appointed him.

Zahawi says he was telling the truth to the best of his knowledge.

He tries to change the subject, and says they have a big challenge ahead.

The people trying to turn the Tories against each other are people like Alastair Campbell, he says.

Robinson says it is “insulting” to claim this crisis has just been created by the government’s opponents.

Nadhim Zahawi, the new chancellor, is now being interviewed by Nick Robinson on the Today programme.

Q: Why was it in the country’s interests, as against yours, for you to stay in the cabinet?

Because we are facing a global battle against inflation, says Zahawi. And we have war on our continent. Many people are struggling with their bills. Today the biggest personal tax cut in a decade is coming into force (the rise in the national insurance threshold).

Q: Don’t you agree with Rishi Sunak, who said the government should be conducted properly and competently? And don’t you agree with Sajid Javid who said the government should have integrity.

Zahawi says Boris Johnson apologised for the Chris Pincher appointment. He says governments take decision at speed, and don’t get everything right.

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