Boris Johnson: Four London Tory MPs resign from government

“In good faith, we must ask that, for the good of the Party and the country, you step aside.”

Four London Conservative MPs have resigned from government, amid a crisis rocking prime minister Boris Johnson’s leadership.

More than 50 members of government, including ministers, cabinet ministers, and Parliamentary private secretaries, have resigned so far since Tuesday afternoon.

The prime minister is now expected to resign today (Thursday, July 7), the BBC is reporting.

Ministers are quitting Boris Johnson’s government in their droves. Photo: Getty

It comes after months of speculation over the prime minister’s political future and follows shock resignations on Tuesday by chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid.

Chris Philp, MP for Croydon South, this morning became the fourth London Tory MP to resign, calling for the PM to step down.

Advertisement

He said: “I’m deeply saddened it has come to this, but the PM should step down given public and Parliamentary confidence has clearly gone, and given the importance of integrity in public life.

“I’m therefore stepping down as Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy now.”

Kensington MP Felicity Buchan quit her job as a minister yesterday (Wednesday, July 6), describing the situation as “untenable”.

Resigning as a private secretary in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), she said: “It has been a huge honour to have served in the Department at a time when energy security and the transition to net zero are so critical.

Kensington MP Felicity Buchan has quit her government job. Photo: UK Parliament

Advertisement

“However, I am afraid that you have lost the confidence of my constituents and me. The current situation is untenable.”

Julia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, also resigned her post at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, along with five other ministers, on Wednesday afternoon.

In a letter signed alongside Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden, equalities minister and levelling up minister; Neil O’Brien, MP for Harborough and levelling up undersecretary; education minister and MP for Brentwood and Ongar Alex Burghart; Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire and a government whip, Ms Lopez quit her post.

Julia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch and Upminster. Photo: UK Parliament

The letter read: “It is with great regret that we are resigning as members of the Government.

“It has been an honour to serve in your administration and we remain extremely grateful for the opportunity you have given us to serve our country.

Advertisement

“You have had the most difficult task in a generation. We hugely admire your fortitude, stamina and enduring optimism. You can be rightly proud of the significant decisions which you have, by common acclamation, got right.”

They added: “However, it has become increasingly clear that the Government cannot function given the issues that have come to light and the way in which they have been handled.

“In good faith, we must ask that, for the good of the Party and the country, you step aside.”

And Mike Freer, minister for exports and equalities, also tendered his resignation amid a flood of exits from government on Wednesday.

Advertisement

He said: “It is with deep regret that I must write to resign as both minister for exports and minister for equalities.

“However, I feel that we are moving away from the One Nation Conservative party I joined, not least in creating an atmosphere of hostility for LGBT+ people and I regret I can no longer defend policies I fundamentally disagree with.

“I now feel that we have let down our constituents and our supporters.

“Representing Finchley and Golders Green I have to ask myself what Mrs Thatcher would have done. I have decided I must prioritise the diverse constituency of Finchley and Golders Green, One Nation conservatism, as well as my passion for equalities.”

Louie French, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, also called for the prime minister to quit.

Advertisement

He said: “As the first homegrown MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, the trust and views of local people is of the utmost importance to me.

Louie French MP’s statement. Photo: Facebook

“I have never sought to defend the indefensible and I have carefully listened and weighed up what I believe to be in both our local and national interest.

“I believe that the Prime Minister’s position is unsustainable and he should resign.”

The MP for the City of London and the City of Westtminster, Nickie Aiken, who resigned as vice-chair of the Conservative Party in February and called for a vote of no confidence, released a statement calling for Boris Johnson to go.

Advertisement

She said: “I strongly believe now is the time for a new leader of the Conservative Party and that the Prime Minister should step down.

“I have made my views known to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee.”

More to follow.