Jacob Rees-Mogg insists losing chancellors ‘happens’ as he digs in to support on-the-edge Boris Johnson… but Lord Frost says it’s time for the Prime Minister to go
- Jacob Rees-Mogg played down the significance of the Chancellor’s resignation
- He insisted Boris Johnson made a ‘minor mistake’ in the Pincher scandal
- The PM acknowledged he should have sacked Mr Pincher after he behaved inappropriately as a Foreign Office Minister
Jacob Rees-Mogg last night issued a staunch defence of Boris Johnson and played down the significance of the Chancellor’s resignation.
The ultra-loyal Brexit Opportunities Minister insisted Mr Johnson had made a ‘minor mistake’ in the Pincher scandal.
He told Sky News: ‘If the Prime Minister is hearing endless things about all sorts of public business, he cannot possibly be expected to remember every last detail.
‘Doesn’t that show you a big man who is willing to apologise when he makes a mistake? I’m not pretending the Prime Minister didn’t make a mistake. It’s obvious. The Prime Minister, forgetting one incident, was not swayed by rumour.’
Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured) played down the significance of the Chancellor’s resignation as he defended Boris Johnson last night
Mr Rees-Mogg insisted Boris Johnson had made a ‘minor mistake’ in the Pincher scandal. The PM acknowledged yesterday he should have sacked Mr Pincher when he was found to have behaved inappropriately as a Foreign Office Minister
Mr Johnson acknowledged yesterday he should have sacked Mr Pincher when he was found to have behaved inappropriately as a Foreign Office Minister.
Mr Rees-Mogg also claimed that ‘losing chancellors is something that happens’.
‘The Prime Minister won the vote. The thing about democracy is if you win the vote, you’ve won and that I think is fundamental,’ he said, referencing the recent confidence vote in the PM.
Mr Rees-Mogg said that to suggest last night’s resignations should lead to the Prime Minister’s departure was an 18th-century view of Cabinet government.
He said that Mr Johnson relies on the support of a majority in the Commons, not on unanimous support in Cabinet.
‘The Prime Minister is winning votes in the House of Commons and that is fundamental,’ he added.
Old Brexit ally Lord Frost reluctantly says: Time to go…
Lord Frost last night told Boris Johnson he should quit for the sake of the country and the Conservative Party.
The former Brexit minister, who resigned from his Cabinet post last December, said there needed to be a new leader.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the peer wrote: ‘Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid have done the right thing.
‘It gives me no pleasure to say it, and I had hoped that events might have taken a different course, but I’m afraid the developments of the last week show there is no chance of the Prime Minister either putting in place the necessary change of approach to running a government or establishing a new policy direction.
Former Brexit minister Lord Frost (pictured) last night told Boris Johnson he should quit for the sake of the country. Lord Frost resigned from his Cabinet post last December and is calling for a new leader
‘Boris Johnson has huge achievements to his credit. He has a place in history for delivering Brexit and much more. But it is now time to look forward. Accordingly, and with sadness, I believe the interests of the country, our new-found self-government, and the Conservative Party would be best served by new leadership and a new Prime Minister.’
Lord Frost has become a vocal critic of Mr Johnson as he has called for him to return to a traditional Conservative agenda. Last month he gave his strongest indication yet that he plans to stand to become a Tory MP at the next general election.
He said the confidence vote against Mr Johnson showed ‘the large part of the party is uncomfortable with the direction of travel’. Asked if he plans to stand at the next election, Lord Frost told BBC Radio Derby: ‘If the party wants me to and a local party is interested in having me, then obviously I’d take that seriously.
‘And I hope by then, the Government will be back on track and have some results that we can credibly campaign on.’
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