In a big blow to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recently survived a leadership challenge, two of his top ministers -- Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid -- quit the government on Tuesday.
Javid, who is of Pakistani-descent and was the former Home Secretary, quit first. "I have spoken to the Prime Minister to tender my resignation as Secretary of State for Health & Social Care. It has been an enormous privilege to serve in this role, but I regret that I can no longer continue in good conscience," he said in a tweet.
Javid said he can no longer serve in Boris Johnson's government in "good conscience" as he has "lost confidence" in the Prime Minister. Setting out his decision to quit in a letter, he wrote: "I am instinctively a team player but the British people also rightly expect integrity from their Government. The tone you set as a leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country. Conservatives at their best are seen as hard-headed decision makers, guided by strong values. We may not have always been popular, but we have been competent in acting in the national interest.
"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 a 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." Soon after, Sunak also put in his paper, saying "we're fundamentally too different". In his letter, he said "the public rightly expect the government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning."
Noting that "our country is facing immense challenges", he said: "I publicly believe the public are ready to hear that truth. Our people know that if something is too good to be true then it's not true. They need to know that whilst there is a path to a better future, it is not an easy one. "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," he added.