Politics

Sajid Javid urges ministers to abandon Boris Johnson and resign

The former health secretary told cabinet ministers: "Not doing something is an active decision" during his speech after PMQs.

Sajid Javid

Javid urged remaining ministers to abandon Johnson, saying 'not doing something is an active decision'. Image: Parliament TV

Former health secretary Sajid Javid has urged Tory ministers to follow his lead and quit – saying the party risks losing the faith of young voters under Boris Johnson.

In a speech to the House of Commons, which some took as the start of a leadership campaign, Javid said: “I am deeply concerned about how the next generation will see the Conservative party on our current course.”

Just 21 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted for the Conservatives in the 2019 general election.

The Conservative mission, said Javid, is “all at risk” if the party cannot regain public trust.

Citing recent Westminster sexual abuse scandals, he said: “I am also concerned about how the next generation will see this house and the health of our democracy.”

He also urged remaining cabinet ministers to abandon Johnson, saying: “Not doing something is an active decision”.

Sajid Javid’s resignation, which came on Tuesday evening, began a wave of ministerial resignations and denunciations of Johnson from backbenchers.

“The problem starts at the top and I believe that is not going to change,” he said, adding: “Enough is enough”.

His speech came at the end of a Prime Minister’s Questions in which Johnson faced mockery and rebellion from his own benches.

Conservative Gary Sambrook said Johnson had told MPs they should have intervened to stop Chris Pincher, who resigned after allegations of groping, from drinking so much.

“He always tries to blame other people for mistakes,” the MP said. “There’s nothing left for him to do other than take responsibility and resign”

Sambrook’s intervention was met with applause from the Labour benches.

Fellow Tory MP Tim Loughton asked Johnson if there were any circumstances in which he would resign – to which Johnson suggested he would resign if he failed to support Ukraine.

Resignations bookended the session, with health minister Jo Churchill quitting at the start of PMQs and housing minister Stuart Andrew doing the same near the end.

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