Nicola Sturgeon has said “the end might be nigh” for the Prime Minister as his premiership hangs in the balance after the resignation of two senior cabinet ministers.
Rishi Sunak quit as chancellor and Sajid Javid has resigned as the UK’s health secretary on Tuesday, sparking a fresh crisis in Downing Street, after the row over scandal-hit former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher exploded.
The Scottish First Minister said “the whole rotten lot” in Boris Johnson’s Westminster government should go.
“Feels like end might be nigh for Johnson – not a moment too soon,” she tweeted.
“Notable tho that the resigning ministers were only prepared to go when they were lied to – they defended him lying to public.”
But Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, has backed Mr Johnson to stay in Number 10 as pressure mounts on the embattled Prime Minister to go less three years after winning an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons.
“I fully support the Prime Minister. I am sorry to see good colleagues resign, but we have a big job of work to do, and that’s what we’re getting on with,” said the MP for Dumfries and Galloway.
Some UK Government ministers are joining Mr Jack in backing the Prime Minister, including Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
But others have quit, with the numbers declaring they can no longer support the Prime Minister growing.
Mr Sunak said “the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously”, and added: “I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”
Mr Javid said the British people “expect integrity from their government” but voters now believed Mr Johnson’s administration was neither competent nor “acting in the national interest”.
Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, described them as “rats deserting a sinking ship”.
“We all know that Boris Johnson is a morally bankrupt and corrupt Prime Minister, and he’s leading a corrupt out-of-touch Tory government,” said the MSP.
“That’s why the sooner we have a general election, the better.”
And Gillian Mackay, MSP in the Scottish Greens, said “we shouldn’t let them pretend it is for anything other than self-serving reasons”.
“As communities across Scotland and the UK struggle to deal with the worst cost of living crisis in decades, Johnson’s government has been engulfed in sleaze, scandal and general incompetence, offering little help to those struggling the most,” she said.
“It’s clear that the game is up for Johnson. His time in Downing Street is coming to an end.”
The latest calls for the Prime Minister to quit comes after his authority was damaged by a confidence vote which saw 41% of his own MPs withdraw their support.
Among those calling for Mr Johnson to go was Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and most of his MP colleagues north of the border.
Of Scotland’s six Tory MPs, only Mr Jack and David Duguid then backed the Prime Minister.