New chancellor Zahawi tells Johnson to go as Donelan quits after 48 hours in job

·1 min read
<span>Photograph: UK Parliament</span>
Photograph: UK Parliament

Nadhim Zahawi has called on Boris Johnson to resign just over a day after being appointed chancellor in his government, as more cabinet ministers stepped down.

In a public letter, Zahawi said he was “heartbroken” that Johnson was not listening to his advice as a friend of over 30 years.

“Prime Minister: this is not sustainable and it will only get worse: for you, for the Conservative party and most importantly of all the country. You must do the right thing and go now,” he said, but stopped short of resigning himself.

Michelle Donelan, the education secretary appointed this week, also resigned, saying the cabinet needed to force Johnson’s hand. She followed Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, who also resigned on Thursday morning.

Nadhim Zahawi’s letter to Boris Johnson.
Nadhim Zahawi’s letter to Boris Johnson. Photograph: Nadhim Zahawi/PA

Lewis said: A decent and responsible government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect - it is a matter of profound personal regret that I must leave government as I no longer believe those values are being upheld.”

The latest developments make it increasingly likely that Johnson will not be able to last the day as prime minister, despite No 10’s insistence on Wednesday night that he wanted to “fight on”.

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