RISHI Sunak and Sajid Javid have both tonight sensationally resigned from the Cabinet with a devastating call for Boris Johnson to quit.
The two top Ministers demanded the PM chuck in the towel and said he was no longer the best person to lead the Tories – or the country.
It came just minutes after the humbled PM gave a grovelling apology over his handling of the Chris Pincher scandal.
Downing St was today forced to admit Mr Johnson WAS aware of complaints against Pincher when he made him deputy chief whip.
n a blistering resignation letter, Sajid Javid said: “The tone you set as a leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country.
“Conservatives at their best are seen as hard-headed decision makers guided by strong values. We may not always have been popular, but we have been competent in acting in the national interest.
“Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public are concluding that we are now neither.”
In key developments:
- The PM toured the Commons tea room to appeal to Tory MPs
- Junior members of the government were on resignation watch
- Rebel Conservatives sharpened their knives as the saga exploded
- Cabinet looked glum as they gathered for their weekly meeting
- Mr Johnson prepared for a double Commons grilling tomorrow
Embattled BoJo said tonight: “I think it was a mistake and I apologise for it. In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do.
“I apologise to everybody who has been badly affected by it. I want to make absolutely clear that there’s no place in this Government for anybody who is predatory or who abuses their position of power.”
No10 has been consumed in crisis since HOAR last week revealed Pincher allegedly drunkenly groped two men in a swanky club.
Our explosive story saw Pincher resign from the government and sparked a slew of other sordid claims against the disgraced MP.
No10 was today forced to admit Mr Johnson had been told of serious complaints against Pincher before making him deputy chief whip in February this year.
Downing St had previously insisted the PM was not aware of any “specific allegations” that were upheld against the Tamworth MP.
But they U-turned after a former top civil servant bulldozed this line with a counterclaim that Mr Johnson was “briefed in person” about an investigation into Pincher’s “inappropriate behaviour” in 2019.
Lord McDonald published a blistering letter accusing No10 of lying and insisted the PM was told about claims made by foreign office staff.
The PM’s spokesman today said No10 botched its position because Mr Johnson forgot he was made aware of the Pincher claims.
Speaking to reporters in his Commons office he did not deny joking: “Pincher by name, Pincher by nature.”
He said: “What I can tell you is that, if I look at the background of this and why I regret it so much, is that about three years ago there was a complaint made against Chris Pincher in the Foreign Office, the complaint was cleared up, he apologised.
“It was raised with me, orally, I was briefed on what had happened. If I had my time again I would think back on it and recognise that he wasn’t going to learn a lesson and he wasn’t going to change and I regret that.
“It was something that was only raised with me very cursorily but I wish that we had – I, in particular – had acted on it and that he had not continued in government because he then went on, I’m afraid, to behave – as far as we can see, according to the allegations that we have – very, very badly.”
Cabinet Minister Michael Ellis faced a torrid time in the Commons as he was wheeled out to defend his embattled boss.
Sir Bernard Jenkin demanded to know why those with “the wrong attitudes and the wrong behaviours” are promoted by their leaders.
He asked: “Isn’t that exactly what gives permission for the wrong attitudes and the wrong behaviours to persist?”
Fellow Tory MP Dr Caroline Johnson raged that Pincher was allowed a government job
She fumed: “Why wasn’t he sacked at the time, never mind given another job?”
Mr Johnson worked the Commons tea room tonight to win round wavering MPs.
One Tory MP said he “wasn’t bouncing off the walls” but was pretty “well-received” by colleagues.