Why Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak finally lost patience with Boris Johnson

(dis)United Kingdom

Prime minister


Fig. 1. President Reagan on the South Lawn during the arrival ceremony of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom. U.S. Government photograph, November 16, 1988, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

See also:

Sam Knight, “Theresa May Has Poisoned the Well of British Politics,” New Yorker, March 21, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/theresa-may-has-poisoned-the-well-of-british-politics

Erin McLaughlin and Kara Fox, “Brexit delay agreed after tumultuous talks with Theresa May,” CNN, March 22, 2019, https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/21/uk/brexit-delay-theresa-may-eu-gbr-intl/index.html

James Rothwell et al., “EU leaders offer UK delay to May 22 – if MPs back Theresa May’s deal,” Telegraph, March 22, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/21/brexit-latest-newstheresa-may-appeal-eu-leaders-time-article/

Gordon Rayner, Anna Mikhailova, and Samantha Herbert, “MPs back indicative votes to take control of Brexit process leaving Theresa May’s authority in shreds,” Telegraph, March 25, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/25/brexit-latest-news-theresa-may-meet-cabinet-amid-pressure-leadership/

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Theresa May bows to pressure and says she will resign before next phase,” Washington Post, March 27, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/brexit-votes/2019/03/27/d044bb28-4fcc-11e9-bdb7-44f948cc0605_story.html

Max Colchester and Jason Douglas, “Theresa May’s Vow to Resign Doesn’t Yield Brexit Breakthrough,” Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/theresa-may-vows-to-quit-to-get-brexit-deal-through-parliament-11553708350

Associated Press, “British lawmakers reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time,” Los Angeles Times, March 29, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-brexit-uk-third-vote-theresa-may-20190329-story.html

Jack Maidment, “Theresa May’s deal defeated again by 58 votes – PM hints at general election to break deadlock,” Telegraph, March 29, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/29/brexit-latest-news-theresa-may-final-push-mps-prepare-vote-withdrawal/

Michael Savage and Toby Helm, “Furious Tory MPs tell May: we’ll block snap Brexit election,” Guardian, March 30, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/30/furious-tory-mps-tell-theresa-may-they-will-block-snap-election

Max Colchester and Jason Douglas, “Theresa May Courts Opposition in Bid to Break Brexit Impasse,” Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-s-may-to-seek-talks-with-labour-further-brexit-extension-11554226292

Gordon Rayner et al., “Theresa May ignores Cabinet support for no-deal Brexit as she turns to Jeremy Corbyn for help,” Telegraph, April 2, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/04/02/brexit-vote-latest-news-philip-hammond-propose-putting-theresa/

Max Colchester and Laurence Norman, “Theresa May Seeks Brexit Extension to June 30,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/theresa-may-seeks-brexit-extension-to-june-30-11554452422

Edward Malnick and Christopher Hope, “Tories face 60 seat loss amid Brexit backlash as ‘Corbyn bound for No 10,’ Telegraph, April 13, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/04/13/tories-face-election-wipe-party-course-lose-60-seats-hand-corbyn/

Matthew Weaver, Rowena Mason, and Caroline Davies, “MPs campaign to have Donald Trump’s UK state visit cancelled,” Guardian, April 23, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/23/donald-trump-plans-state-visit-to-uk-in-june

Oliver Wright, “Tory Brexiteers rewrite the rules in fresh bid to oust Theresa May,” Times, April 23, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tory-brexiteers-rewrite-the-rules-in-fresh-bid-to-oust-theresa-may-x63kt8h9z

Heather Stewart and Patrick Wintour, “Tories lose over 1,300 seats in local elections as major parties suffer,” Guardian, May 3, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/03/tories-lose-over-1200-seats-in-local-elections-as-major-parties-suffer

Sam Coates and Kate Devlin, “Don’t cave in to Labour on Brexit, Tories tell Theresa May,” Times, May 6, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dont-cave-in-to-labour-on-brexit-tories-tell-theresa-may-0t6rqstxt

Natasha Frost, “Why Boris Johnson is the bookies’ favorite to be Britain’s next prime minister,” Quartz, May 24, 2019, https://qz.com/1627532/boris-johnson-is-the-bookmakers-favorite-for-britains-next-pm/

Elizabeth Piper, William James, and Kylie MacLellan, “Brexit brings down May, Johnson stakes leadership claim,” Reuters, May 24, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-may/tearful-may-resigns-paving-way-for-brexit-confrontation-with-eu-idUSKCN1SU0UF

Michael Savage, Jamie Doward, and Toby Helm, “Stop Boris Johnson campaign launched by Tory moderates opposed to no-deal Brexit,” Guardian, May 25, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/25/moderate-tories-launch-stop-boris-johnson-campaign

Andrew Rawnsley, “What makes the Tories think that anyone must be better than Mrs May?” Guardian, May 26, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/26/what-makes-tories-think-anyone-must-be-better-than-theresa-may

James Martin, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, May 30, 2021, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1398997771609325568.html

Lizzie Roberts and Hayley Dixon, “Catholics question how twice-divorced Boris was allowed to marry Carrie Symonds in church,” Telegraph, May 30, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/05/30/boris-johnson-carrie-symonds-catholic-church-wedding-married/

Robert Hutton and Tim Ross, “His Critics Say He Lies, But Tories Want to Trust Boris Johnson,” Bloomberg, June 15, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-14/his-critics-say-he-lies-but-tories-want-to-trust-boris-johnson

Gordon Rayner, “Police called to home of Boris Johnson and partner Carrie Symonds after reports of loud altercation,” Telegraph, June 21, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/06/21/police-called-home-boris-johnson-girlfriend-reports-altercation

Edward Malnick, Patrick Sawer, and Steve Bird, “Left-wing neighbours admit to taping Boris Johnson row with partner Carrie Symonds,” Telegraph, June 22, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/06/22/left-wing-neighbours-admit-taping-boris-johnson-row-girlfriend/

Michael Savage, Toby Helm, and Simon Murphy, “Boris Johnson under fire over row with partner as top Tories raise fears,” Guardian, June 22, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/22/boris-johnson-under-fire-questions-hustings-late-night-argument

Rebecca Mead, “Will Boris Johnson’s ‘Late-Night Altercation’ Sink His Bid to Become Prime Minister?” New Yorker, June 23, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/will-boris-johnsons-late-night-altercation-sink-his-bid-to-become-prime-minister

Jessica Elgot, “New PM faces losing Commons confidence, Tory MPs warn,” Guardian, July 8, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/21/next-tory-pm-will-face-serious-challenge-trying-to-secure-commons-confidence

Mark Landler, “Leaked British Cables Critical of Trump Lead to Diplomatic Uproar,” New York Times, July 8, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/08/us/politics/donald-trump-kim-darroch.html

Josh Rogin, “British ambassador’s leaked cables are far from ‘bombshells,’” Washington Post, July 8, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/07/08/british-ambassadors-leaked-cables-are-far-bombshells/

Peter Walker et al., “Johnson has thrown US ambassador under the bus, say top Tories,” Guardian, July 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/10/kim-darroch-resigns-as-uk-ambassador-to-us-after-leaked-trump-comment

Euronews, “Sir Kim Darroch, the UK’s ambassador to the US, resigns after row over leaked Trump emails,” July 11, 2019, https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/10/sir-kim-darroch-the-uk-s-ambassador-to-the-us-resigns-after-row-over-leaked-trump-emails

Amy Davidson Sorkin, “The Contest to Replace Theresa May Raises an Unexpected Question: How Many Tories Inhaled?” New Yorker, June 11, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-contest-to-replace-theresa-may-raises-an-unexpected-question-how-many-tories-inhaled

Steven Swinford, “Donald Trump attacks ‘stupid’ envoy and ‘foolish’ Theresa May,” Times, July 9, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/liam-fox-should-stop-kowtowing-to-donald-trump-say-envoys-allies-gg79r9cl6

Gordon Rayner, “How Philip Hammond delivered his final act of rebellion on the steps of No 11,” Telegraph, July 18, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/07/18/philip-hammond-delivered-final-act-rebellion-steps-no-11/

William James and Elizabeth Piper, “Under ‘dark cloud’ of Brexit, UK minister quits before Johnson becomes PM,” Reuters, July 22, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-idUSKCN1UH0UE

Tom McTague, “Boris Johnson Meets His Destiny,” Atlantic, July 22, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/07/boris-johnson-profile/594379/

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Boris Johnson, Brexit cheerleader, to become Britain’s next prime minister,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/boris-johnson-expected-to-win-british-prime-minister-vote/2019/07/23/0e63fc8e-ac93-11e9-9411-a608f9d0c2d3_story.html

Ruby Mellen, “Boris Johnson, Britain’s incoming prime minister, in his own colorful words,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/23/boris-johnson-britains-incoming-prime-minister-his-own-colorful-words/

Ishaan Tharoor, “Boris Johnson’s rise could be a preamble to his fall,” Washington Post, July 23, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/23/boris-johnsons-rise-could-be-preamble-his-fall/

Rajeev Syal, “‘Summer’s day massacre’ may spell backbench trouble for Boris Johnson,” Guardian, July 24, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/24/philip-hammond-quits-johnson-fully-aligned-chancellor-gauke-stewart

Karla Adam and Michael Birnbaum, “Allies of British prime minister resign amid outrage over Parliament suspension,” Washington Post, August 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/british-leaders-backers-dismiss-outrage-over-parliament-suspension-as-candyfloss/2019/08/29/fa1e2c96-ca3c-11e9-a4f3-c081a126de70_story.html

Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Britain may face snap elections after Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffers major loss in Parliament,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/showdown-set-for-the-british-parliament-as-legislators-return-from-summer-recess/2019/09/03/105ecca6-cb6c-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html

Charlie Cooper, Annabelle Dickson, and Emilio Casalicchio, “Boris Johnson loses control,” Politico, September 4, 2019, https://www.politico.eu/article/boris-johnson-loses-control-brexit/

Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Boris Johnson suffers two major losses in Parliament, leaving his governing authority and the terms of Brexit in doubt,” Washington Post, September 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-parliament-brexit-vote/2019/09/04/cc934b1c-cb6d-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html

Jane Martinson, “Like the Tories, the Telegraph has turned radical,” Guardian, September 8, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/media/commentisfree/2019/sep/08/telegraph-boris-johnson

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “Boris Johnson sends British MPs home until October 14 after confirming Parliament prorogue,” September 10, 2019, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-09/boris-johnson-suspends-parliament-until-october-14/11494108

Griff Witte and Karla Adam, “A chaotic final night for Parliament leaves Johnson with bleak choices on the path to Brexit,” Washington Post, September 10, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-chaotic-final-night-for-parliament-leaves-johnson-with-bleak-choices-on-the-path-to-brexit/2019/09/10/443a835a-d33a-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html

Tim Ross, Jess Shankleman, and Alex Morales, “Boris Johnson’s Nightmare on Downing Street,” Bloomberg, September 13, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-13/nightmare-on-downing-street-as-team-johnson-fears-brexit-mutiny

Polly Toynbee, “Johnson’s desperate for a general election, but he faces an unpleasant surprise,” Guardian, October 10, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/10/boris-johnson-election-unpleasant-surprise-opposition

William Booth, Michael Birnbaum, and Karla Adam, “U.K. Parliament rejects Boris Johnson’s call for an early election on Dec. 12, but a pre-Brexit election remains likely,” Washington Post, October 28, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/eu-pushes-brexit-until-end-of-january-british-prime-minister-johnsons-request/2019/10/28/c53839cc-f967-11e9-9534-e0dbcc9f5683_story.html

Tom Edgington, “Could there be an early general election?” British Broadcasting Corporation, October 28, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49004486

Karla Adam and William Booth, “Britain sets December date for an election in which Brexit will dominate,” Washington Post, October 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/with-labour-partys-backing-britains-boris-johnson-looks-set-to-get-his-snap-election/2019/10/29/778ed246-f9c9-11e9-9e02-1d45cb3dfa8f_story.html

Rowena Mason, “Brexit: Boris Johnson abandons bill in new push for December election,” Guardian, October 29, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/28/boris-johnson-abandons-brexit-bill-in-new-push-for-december-election

John Cassidy, “What Are the Real Lessons of the U.K. Election for 2020?” New Yorker, December 14, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/what-are-the-real-lessons-of-the-uk-election-for-2020

Harry Lambert, “Why Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak finally lost patience with Boris Johnson,” New Statesman, July 5, 2022, https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/conservatives/2022/07/why-sajid-javid-and-rishi-sunak-finally-lost-patience-with-boris-johnson

Graham Russell and Martin Farrer, “‘Johnson on the brink’: what the papers said about Boris Johnson’s cabinet resignations,” Guardian, July 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/jul/06/johnson-on-the-brink-what-the-papers-said-about-boris-johnsons-cabinet-resignations

Heather Stewart, Rowena Mason, and Jessica Elgot, “Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak quit – throwing Boris Johnson’s future into doubt,” Guardian, July 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jul/05/sajid-javid-and-rishi-sunak-quit-throwing-boris-johnsons-future-into-doubt

Telegraph, “This political crisis must be resolved,” July 5, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2022/07/05/political-crisis-must-resolved/

Kieran Devine, Daniel Dunford, and Ganesh Rao, “Boris Johnson suffers more ministerial resignations in one day than any PM in history,” Sky News, July 6, 2022, https://news.sky.com/story/boris-johnson-suffers-more-resignations-in-one-day-than-any-prime-minister-in-history-12647012

Nick Gutteridge, “Boris Johnson drops heavy hints of snap election – but the Queen could block the plan,” Telegraph, July 6, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/06/snap-general-election-what-will-call-boris-johnson-confidence/

Times, “The Times view on Boris Johnson’s position: Game Over,” July 6, 2022, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-times-view-on-boris-johnsons-position-game-over-t83xkkts6

Max Colchester, “U.K.’s Boris Johnson to Resign After Scandals Grow Too Great to Handle,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-s-boris-johnson-quits-after-scandals-grow-too-great-to-handle-11657183819

Karla Adam and William Booth, “Boris Johnson expected to resign amid party revolt,” Washington Post, July 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/07/uk-boris-johnson-resignation/

Stephen Fidler, “Conservatives Aim to Recover the Trust Lost Under Boris Johnson,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/conservatives-aim-to-recover-the-trust-lost-under-boris-johnson-11657221679

Ben Riley-Smith, “Mortally wounded Boris Johnson defies Cabinet demands to quit,” Telegraph, July 7, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/06/mortally-wounded-boris-johnson-defies-cabinet-demands-quit/

Telegraph, “The only three PMs who had shorter tenures than Boris Johnson,” July 7, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/07/07/boris-johnson-resignation-makes-among-top-four-shortest-serving/

Tim Shipman, “Boris the cat with nine lives has finally been neutered,&rduo; Times, July 9, 2022, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boris-the-cat-with-nine-lives-has-finally-been-neutered-nq7hnwndv

Martin Fletcher, “The Tory leadership candidates are all peddling dangerous delusions,” New Statesman, July 11, 2022, https://www.newstatesman.com/comment/2022/07/tory-leadership-candidates-peddling-dangerous-delusions

Daniel Capurro, “Liz Truss: Now unchained, the dutiful servant turned PM is ready to lead from the front,” Telegraph, September 5, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/09/05/liz-truss-profile-prime-minister-tory-lib-dem-thatcher/

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