Politics LIVE: Pressure mounts on Boris Johnson after mass Downing Street resignations


Boris Johnson’s administration was plunged into further turmoil after four of his closest aides resigned

In a torrid day for the PM, his chief of staff, principal private secretary, director of communications and chief policy quit Downing Street within hours of one another.

Munira Mirza, the former director of the No 10 policy unit and one of Mr Johnson’s most loyal and longstanding advisers, walked out after attacking the Prime Minister’s use of a “scurrilous” Jimmy Savile smear against Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer.

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Boris Johnson hit by mass Downing Street resignations as four key aides quit

There also appeared to be division within the Treasury over the Savile comments as Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted he would not have used the jibe, while one of his ministers later defended Mr Johnson suggesting it was a “perfectly reasonable remark”.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan has announced his resignation from Stormont’s powersharing Executive.

The move by the Lagan Valley MLA is part of the DUP’s escalating protest strategy against Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol.

Last updated: Friday, 04 February, 2022, 08:39

Energy Minister Greg Hands has said the departure of No 10 policy chief Munira Mirza was different from the other resignations on Thursday.

In her letter of resignation, Ms Mirza criticized Mr Johnson’s “scurrilous” attack on Sir Keir Starmer over his supposed failure when he was director of public prosecutions to charge Jimmy Savile.

Mr Hands told Sky News: “The resignation of Munira Mirza is a little bit different. She made clear her reasons for her resignation from her. The Prime Minister was equally clear that he disagreed with her.

“The Prime Minister was also clear on Wednesday that he was referring back to the public apology made by Sir Keir Stamer in 2013.

“These are all events that happened many, many years ago. The time is now to move on.”

Tory MP Huw Merriman said Boris Johnson needed to improve or leave Downing Street for good.

In what appeared to be a slightly mixed-up warning to the Prime Minister, he said: “I’m deeply troubled by what’s going on.

“We all know that if the Prime Minister doesn’t ship up, then they have to shape out [sic]and that’s exactly what happened when this Prime Minister took over.

“We know how it works. I’m sure the Prime Minister will be focused now on getting on with the job in hand, focusing on policy and regaining the public’s trust.”

The Daily Mail suggested the sudden exits of Mr Reynolds and Mr Rosenfield were part of a shake-up that had been planned for next week, but which were accelerated in the wake of Ms Mirza’s exit.

The high-profile departures piled fresh pressure on the Prime Minister as he battles to remain in charge, with 13 Conservative MPs having publicly called for his resignation over the way he has handled the partying claims.

Good morning and welcome to our live blog covering all the major events from UK politics as they happen.

Boris Johnson’s administration was plunged into further turmoil yesterday after four of his closest aides resigned, leaving the Prime Minister without key members of his inner circle.


www.scotsman.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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