The prime minister sacked Leveling Up secretary Michael Gove amid calls for his own resignation.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sacked Leveling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove amid a wave of resignations from senior cabinet officials and is calling for the prime minister himself to step down. Downing Street confirmed the decision to the media.
Gove was previously seen as one of Johnson’s main allies. According to British media, Johnson sacked Gove on Wednesday night, shortly after Gove urged him to step down as prime minister.
The BBC quoted a government source who called Gove “A snake who isn’t with you on any of the big arguments and then gleefully tells the press that the leader has to go.”
Gove has not yet made a public statement on the matter.
Johnson’s aide, James Duddridge, told Sky News that the prime minister will continue to fight refusing to resign despite mounting pressure to do so. “He has a mandate of 14 million and a lot to do for the country,” Duddridge said.
Gove’s sacking comes amid a wave of resignations from senior cabinet ministers dissatisfied with the prime minister. Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart resigned from his post on Wednesday.
“Colleagues have done everything they can in private and in public to help him turn the ship around, but I sadly feel we have passed the point where this is possible.” Hart wrote in his farewell letter to Johnson.
The long list of ministers and secretaries who have recently resigned includes Foreign Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who left the government on Tuesday.
Despite surviving a no-confidence vote in Parliament last month, Johnson and his cabinet have become increasingly mired in a series of controversies. In May, an internal investigation confirmed that government officials had routinely flouted Covid-19 social distancing rules, with several of them, including Johnson himself, being fined.
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