British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday rejected calls to step down following a wave of high-level resignations across the government. Despite his winning a confidence vote in June, Johnson’s premiership has been plagued by a string of scandals, the latest of which involves his alleged mishandling of sexual misconduct claims against a former member of Johnson’s Conservative Party. Before resigning his own position on Tuesday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the House of Commons “at some point we have to conclude that enough is enough. I believe that point is now.”
- Does the prime minister think there are any circumstances in which he should resign?
- Mr. Speaker, clearly, if there were circumstances in which I felt it was impossible for the government to go on and discharge the mandate that we've been given or if I felt, for instance, that we were being frustrated in our desire to support the Ukrainian people or over some major point, then I would. But frankly, Mr. Speaker, the job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances, when he's been handed a colossal mandate is to keep going, and that's what I'm going to do.
SAJID JAVID: When the first stories of parties in Downing Street emerged late last year, I was personally assured at the most senior level by my Right Honorable friends then team, and I quote, "There had been no parties in Downing Street, and no rules were broken."
So I gave the benefit of doubt, and I went on those media rounds to say that I'd had those assurances from the most senior level of the prime minister's team. Then we had more stories. We had the Sue Gray report, a new Downing Street team. I continued to give the benefit of the doubt.
And now this week again, we have reason to question the truth and integrity of what we've all been told. And at some point, we have to conclude that enough is enough. I believe that point is now.
There's only so many times you can turn that machine on and off before you realize that something is fundamentally wrong. Last month, I gave the benefit of doubt one last time. But I haven't concluded that the problem starts at the top. That is not going to change.
I have concluded that the problem starts at the top, and I believe that is not going to change. And that means that it is for those of us in a position who have responsibility to make that change.