Health secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak have both resigned on Tuesday (July 5) after a slew of scandals undermined the government of prime minister Boris Johnson.
Javid and Sunak sent resignation letters to Johnson within minutes of each other in which both took aim at his ability to run an administration that adhered to standards.
The resignations came as Johnson was apologizing for appointing a lawmaker to a role involved in offering pastoral care, even after being briefed that the politician had been the subject of complaints about sexual misconduct.
In his resignation letter to Johnson, Javid said “it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership — and you have therefore lost my confidence too”.
He was appointed to lead the Department of Health and Social Care in June 2021, when his predecessor Matt Hancock quit after being caught having an affair with an adviser, in breach of social distancing guidelines.
“The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously,” Sunak wrote in his resignation letter. “I recognize this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”
He was barely known to the British public when Johnson made him chancellor of the exchequer in February 2020, after only five years in Conservative politics.
Javid’s resignation has stunned the sector as he was seen as a health secretary who understood community pharmacy and wished well when he spoke of introducing a ‘pharmacy first’ scheme in England.
“It is disappointing to lose Sajid Javid given his understanding of pharmacy,” said sector leader, hoping that “his successor will have as great an insight into pharmacy”.
Another said the departure of Javid meant “a bigger flame is burning under the community pharmacy pressure cooker”.
Johnson told Sunak and Javid that he was sorry to see them resign.
The prime minister made the comments in letters sent to the two men which were published by his office.
Steve Barclay is new health secretary?
Johnson appointed his chief of staff Steve Barclay as his next health secretary after Sajid Javid resigned earlier on Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph newspaper has reported.