UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is increasingly under pressure, has reportedly sacked his old colleague Michael Gove from the cabinet. "He fired Michael Gove," James Duddridge, a close associate of Johnson, told Sky News. According to British media reports, Gove, who was considered an influential member of the cabinet, had asked the head of government to resign.
Michael Gove campaigned alongside Johnson during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign to leave the EU. However, the relationship between the two was always marked by competition. Gove has held various posts in government over the years. Most recently, the Conservative politician was responsible for Johnson's plan to equalize living conditions in Great Britain as Minister for Building and Housing.
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The British Minister for Wales, Simon Hart, also announced his resignation on Twitter. He is said to be among the cabinet members who personally asked Johnson to resign. Attorney General Suella Braverman told ITV that Johnson must resign. You can imagine running for office. Braverman was previously seen as a supporter of Johnson.
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Johnson faced a spate of calls for his resignation from his group and cabinet on Wednesday. However, he announced that he would not voluntarily give up his post. "The Prime Minister is in high spirits and will continue to fight," said his close aide James Duddridge. According to the broadcaster Sky News, Johnson will present a plan for the economy this Thursday together with his new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi.
His own party is no longer behind Johnson
Johnson narrowly survived an internal party no-confidence vote in June. But now he is already in the next political crisis. This time it's about repeated sexual assaults by a Johnson-backed government faction official, Chris Pincher. Johnson initially denied knowing about the allegations, then admitted general knowledge, only to finally have it explained that he had been informed personally, but had forgotten it again. He apologizes for Pincher's appeal, but in retrospect it was the wrong decision, Johnson said.
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Rishi Sunak resigned as finance minister in protest on Tuesday evening, Health Minister Sajid Javid did the same, and around 40 state secretaries and employees resigned afterwards. Johnson appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the new finance minister and Steve Barclay as the new health minister, and categorically ruled out resigning.
However, some of his closest associates no longer want to see him at the Downing Street official residence. As the British news agency PA reported, a delegation of cabinet members visited him at the official residence to suggest a "dignified departure".
Meanwhile, many Tory MPs fear Johnson no longer has the moral authority at a time when difficult decisions need to be made amid soaring food and energy prices and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Quite a few conservatives also see the former election winner as a political burden for party candidates.
Johnson's opponents are seeking a new no-confidence vote. For this, however, the rules of the conservative lower house group would have to be changed. A vote in the responsible party committee could be an indication of what the chances are.
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