Keir Starmer has said the government is now “collapsing” following the resignations of Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak, adding that if the cabinet ministers had a “shred of integrity” they would have quit months ago.
The Health Secretary and the Chancellor announced their decision to quit the government this evening, sharing the letters of resignation they had sent to Boris Johnson on Twitter.
The Labour leader said: “After all the sleaze, the scandals and the failure, it’s clear that this government is now collapsing. Tory cabinet ministers have known all along who this Prime Minister is.
“They have been his cheerleaders throughout this sorry saga. Backing him when he broke the law. Backing him when he lied repeatedly. Backing him when he mocked the sacrifices of the British people.
“In doing so, they have been complicit every step of the way as he has disgraced his office and let down his country. If they had a shred of integrity they would have gone months ago.
“The British public will not be fooled. The Tory party is corrupted, and changing one man won’t fix that. Only a real change of government can give Britain the fresh start it needs.”
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Javid said: “It is with enormous regret that I must tell you that I can no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this government.
“I am instinctively a team player, but the British people also rightly expect integrity from their government. The tone you set as leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country.”
He declared that the Conservatives “may not have always been popular, but we have been competent in acting in the national interest,” adding: “Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public are concluding that we are now neither.
“The vote of confidence last month showed that a large number of our colleagues agree. It was a moment for humility, grip and new direction. I regret to say, however, that it is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too.”
Sunak told Johnson in his letter: “The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”
He added: “In preparation for our proposed joint speech on the economy next week, it has become clear to me that our approaches are fundamentally too different. I am sad to be leaving government, but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we cannot continue like this.”