Britain’s new finance and education ministers have told Boris Johnson to resign, less than 48 hours after the prime minister appointed them.
The move of Nadhim Zahawi and Michelle Donelan on Thursday deepened the country’s government crisis that saw more than 50 Conservative ministers and aides resign on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“This is not sustainable and it will only get worse, for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly of all the country,” Zahawi said on Twitter. “You must do the right thing and go now.”
Zahawi did not say he had resigned, but said he went to the prime minister’s office in Downing Street with cabinet colleagues on Wednesday evening to tell Johnson to “leave with dignity”.
“I am heartbroken that he hasn’t listened and that he is now undermining the incredible achievements of this government,” Zahawi said in a letter.
“The country deserves a government that is not only stable, but which acts with integrity. Prime Minister you know in your heart what the right thing to do is, and go now.”
On his part, Donelan said that he sees no way for Johnson to continue in his post.
“Without a formal mechanism to remove you it seems that the only way that this is … possible is for those of us who remain in Cabinet to force your hand,” he wrote in a resignation letter, saying she had “pleaded” with Johnson on Wednesday to resign.
“You have put us in an impossible situation … as someone who values integrity above all else, I have no choice.”