Two of the most senior members of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Cabinet resigned on Tuesday. It could potentially signal the end of Johnson's leadership after a series of scandals, reported DW, quoting news agencies AP, AFP and Reuters.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid was the first to go, saying he could "no longer continue in good conscience" at his post.
Immediately following, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak also announced he was stepping down, saying that "the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously."
The resignations came as Johnson was apologizing for keeping former Conservative party whip Chris Pincher in his post after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.
"In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do. I apologize to everyone who's been badly affected by it," Johnson told broadcasters.
Both Javid and Sunak had formerly publicly supported Johnson during months of scandal over his administration's conduct and a damning report into parties at his Downing Street office and residence that broke strict COVID-19 lockdown rules.
What did the ministers say?
In his resignation letter, which he posted to Twitter, Javid told Johnson that "the values you represent reflect on your colleagues," and in light of recent scandals, the public had concluded that their party was neither "competent" nor "acting in the national interest."
The former health secretary also took the prime minister to task for not reacting with "humility" after narrowly winning a recent no-confidence vote.
"It is clear that this situation will not change under your leadership," he wrote, "and you have therefore lost my confidence too."
Sunak, for his part, wrote that "the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently, and seriously…I believe that these standards are worth fighting for and that's why I'm resigning."
He added that their "approaches are fundamentally too different" to keep working together and accused Johnson of peddling narratives that were "too good to be true" to the public.
Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said those who had backed Johnson were complicit in how he had performed his job.
"After all the sleaze, the scandals and the failure, it’s clear that this government is now collapsing," he said.