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Johnson sacks housing secretary Gove

Words: Laura Edgar
Michael Gove / Shutterstock_1819409918

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night (6 July) sacked Michael Gove as levelling up and housing secretary.

This followed attempts by Gove to get him to resign as confidence in Johnson collapsed.

The BBC is reporting this morning that Johnson is going to resign later today. He will continue as prime minister until the autumn.

The political drama and a series of resignations began on Tuesday night (5 July).

MP for Tamworth Christopher Pincher, a former housing and Foreign Office minister, resigned as deputy chief whip last Thursday (30 June) after allegations were made that he groped two men the night before (29 June) while drinking at the Carlton Club in central London.

The prime minister suspended the whip on Friday (1 July). Since then, questions arose about why Pincher was appointed as deputy chief whip, given that there had been an investigation into his inappropriate behaviour in 2019. Number 10 denied that Johnson knew anything about specific allegations against the deputy chief whip.

On Tuesday, former Foreign Office permanent secretary Lord McDonald said Downing Street was making “inaccurate claims” and was “not telling the truth”.

It was then confirmed that the prime minister had been informed about the 2019 investigation into Pincher's behaviour. Johnson apologised for appointing Pincher as deputy chief whip, saying it “was a mistake” and “in hindsight the wrong thing to do”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid tendered their resignations, which triggered a series of resignations throughout yesterday and this morning, including housing secretary Stuart Andrew.

The Guardian reports that Gove was not part of a delegation of cabinet ministers that told Johnson he should resign last night. He spoke to him earlier in the day, but told him that he would not stand against him as party leader.

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