TEHRAN (Iran News) – In yet another major blow to Boris Johnson, his Brexit minister, David Frost, has stepped down from the cabinet with immediate effect.
The timing can not be worse for Johnson who is already facing major question marks from his own Conservative party MPs about whether he can survive in his role as British Prime Minister.
Frost had previously expressed his unhappiness with the direction of the government on several issues including tax hikes, but it appears to be the Prime Minister’s handling of the new Omicron variant of Covid which is spreading in record numbers that has sparked the departure. In his resignation letter Frost told Johnson “You took a brave decision in July, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again. Sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as I wished, and believe you did too. I hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere.”
The shock departure follows a number of scandals among the Tories that have hit the Prime Minister in particular the hardest. That culminated in a massive rebellion by Tory MPs in parliament over Covid rules and a humiliating by-election loss in the previously untouchable conservative constituency of North Shropshire. The resignation also comes amid a war of words between the UK and the European Union over the Northern Ireland Protocol and the man handling that task on behalf of Johnson’s government was none other than his now resigned Brexit minister David Frost.
Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said the resignation suggested the government was “in total chaos right when the country faces an uncertain few weeks.”
But Johnson’s own lawmakers have also spoken out publicly. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said the PM was “running out of time and out of friends”. He added that “Frost has made it clear, 100 Conservative backbenchers have made it clear, but most importantly so did the people of North Shropshire.” Another Tory MP, Peter Bone, says many of his party’s backbenchers agreed with Frost’s thinking that rising prices, taxes and inflation are taking their toll on working families and voters who will distance themselves from a Tory government.
It is yet another sign of major divisions opening up in the Conservative party about the future of their leader and the country’s Prime Minister. According to British media reports, many MPs do not have any confidence left in Johnson and believe the party is heading towards a new leadership contest. Some MPs have said they would have moved in that direction already if the country was not dealing with a record number of Covid cases, the largest since the virus broke out in the UK.