Boris Johnson resigns as Foreign Secretary in major Brexit blow to Theresa May | Digital Asia
- Boris Johnson quits as foreign Secretary over the prime minister’s handling of Brexit.
- Johnson failed to turn up for an important European summit he was due to host in London.
- Downing Street: “His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.”
- Labour say Theresa May’s government is now in “meltdown”.
LONDON – Boris Johnson has resigned as Foreign Secretary in a major blow to Theresa May.
“This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary,” a spokesperson for May said.
“His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.”
In a statement to MPs, May paid tribute to Johnson’s work as foreign secretary but said that “we do not agree about the best way of delivering our shared vision”.
His departure follows shortly in the wake of the departure of his colleague, the former Brexit Secretary David Davis, who resigned on Sunday after also refusing to endorse May’s Brexit strategy.
Eyebrows were raised after Johnson failed to appear at the Western Balkans Summit in London, which he was due to host on Monday afternoon.
We’re still waiting for our host… #WBLondonSummit
— Michael Roth MdB ???????? (@MiRo_SPD) July 9, 2018
Johnson reportedly told his Cabinet colleagues at their meeting at the prime minister’s official retreat in Chequers last week that the Brexit policy put forward by Theresa May was akin to “polishing a turd.”
He has also previously privately told friends that he would “rather stay in the EU” than accept a soft Brexit.
However, he subjequently agreed to support the policy, before being forced into an about-turn by the resignation of his colleague, the Brexit Secretary David Davis on Sunday.
Davis quit on Sunday night, along with his Brexit minister Steve Baker, over May’s Brexit policy and Johnson came under intense pressure to follow suit.
Johnson’s resignation was reportedly announced by Downing Street, before he had a chance to finish his resignation statement.
I am told Downing Street “spiked” @BorisJohnson – that is they announced he was quitting BEFORE he actually finished writing his resignation letter. This is getting very brutal
— Robert Peston (@Peston) July 9, 2018
His departure has thrown the prime minister into the biggest crisis of her premiership and comes shortly before May appeared before MPs to take questions on her Cabinet’s agreement on her Brexit plans.
May faced laughter and jeering from opposition MPs as she paid tribute to both Davis and Johnson for their work in preparing for Brexit, but added that “we do not agree about the best way of delivering our shared vision.”
She is also due to defend her position in a private meeting with Conservative MPs on Monday evening and will come under growing pressure within her party to consider her position.
The Labour party said May’s government was now in “meltdown”.
“Theresa May’s Government is in meltdown. This is complete and utter chaos,” Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson, said.
“The country is at a standstill with a divided and shambolic Government. The Prime Minister can’t deliver Brexit and has zero authority left.”
The pound plunged after the news was announced as the future of May’s government looked in doubt. Rumours were ciculating in Westminster on Monday afternoon of other ministers also considering their position.