British opposition and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said the resigning Cabinet ministers have been “complicit” as Prime Minister Boris Johnson “disgraced his office.”
Starmer shared a statement following the resignations of Johnson’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday evening.
“After all the sleaze, the scandals and the failure, it’s clear that this government is now collapsing,” Starmer said.
“Tory cabinet ministers have known all along who this prime minister is.”
Starmer said Sunak and Javid “have been his cheerleaders throughout this sorry saga: backing him when he broke the law, backing him when he lied repeatedly, backing him when he mocked the sacrifices of the British people,” referring to previous public outcry over COVID-19 lockdown parties and alleged poor handling the pandemic.
“In doing so, they have been complicit every step of the way as he has disgraced his office and let down his country,” Starmer said, adding that the ministers would have gone months ago “if they had a shred of integrity.”
The Labour Party leader also said that “the British public will not be fooled. The Tory party is corrupted and changing one man won’t fix that.”
He added: “Only a real change of government can give Britain the fresh start it needs.”
Javid resigned as a cabinet minister on Tuesday evening, saying that he had spoken to the prime minister to tender his resignation as health secretary.
“It has been an enormous privilege to serve in this role, but I regret that I can no longer continue in good conscience,” he wrote on Twitter.
Sunak also quit following Javid’s resignation, tweeting: “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.”
The backdrop to the two high-profile resignations came after a scandal over Chris Pincher, a government MP who resigned as the deputy chief whip last week after allegations about an incident that occurred at a private members’ club.
Downing Street initially said Johnson was unaware of previous specific allegations against Pincher, but it later emerged that the premier was in fact informed when he was the foreign minister in 2019 of previous instances of alleged misconduct on Pincher’s part.
Just before the resignations, Johnson apologized for appointing Pincher as the deputy chief whip./aa