Boris Johnson is set to face MPs in the House of Commons today less than 24 hours after two senior ministers resigned from their roles.
In what was a devastating blow to the Prime Minister, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, handed in their resignation letters yesterday evening and stepped down from their roles as two of Boris Johnson’s most senior and trusted cabinet members during his time in office.
In Mr Sunak’s shock resignation letter posted to Twitter, he stressed that he had been “loyal” to the Prime Minister over the years, but that he had now concluded their “approaches are fundamentally too different”.
“I firmly believe the public are ready to hear that truth,” he added in his letter.
“Our people know that if something is too good to be true then it’s not true. They need to know that whilst there is a path to a better future, it is not an easy one. I am sad to be leaving Government – but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we cannot continue like this.”
Similarly, Sajid Javid said in his resignation letter that the British public “rightfully expect integrity from their government”, adding: “The tone you set as a leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country.
“Conservatives at their best are seen as hard-headed decision-makers, guided by strong values. We may not have always been popular, but we have been competent in acting in the national interest.
“Sadly, in the current circumstances, the public are concluding that we are now neither.”
He added that last month’s vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister showed “humility, grip and new direction,” and that it is “clear” to him that “this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too.”
Mr Sunak and Mr Javid announcing they would be stepping down yesterday evening subsequently lead to a wave of other resignations, with a total of 10 Conservative MPs announcing they would be leaving their positions – two cabinet ministers, one minister, four parliamentary private secretaries, one vice chair, and two trade envoys.
All resignations were in the wake of the Prime Minister’s handling of the ongoing row over MP Chris Pincher’s conduct – who quit as deputy chief whip last week after claims that he groped two men at a private members’ club.
Mr Johnson had been told about concerns around Mr Pincher’s behaviour dating back several years, and after having several MPs and ministers publicly deny that he had any knowledge of this, eventually admitted in interviews this week to knowing about the claims when he the “bad mistake” to promote Mr Pincher to chief whip.
It has been confirmed that Nadhim Zahawi has been named the new Chancellor, and Steve Barclay has become Health Secretary.
The Prime Minister will now face MPs in the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) today from 12pm – which is less than 24 hours after the resignations.
He is expected to be quizzed on a range of topics, including “integrity in politics”, the rule of law, and Ukraine and its impacts on the UK – but of course, he will most likely be hit with questions over his handling of Mr Pincher’s promotion, the resignations of last night, and other pressing issues.
The Pincher row is the latest issue to prompt Conservative MPs to question the Prime Minister’s leadership and direction of the current government – which has been dogged by a series of controversies in recent months.
The ongoing ‘Partygate’ scandal and the police investigation into parties in Downing Street during lockdown has grabbed most of the headlines this year, but other Tory MPs have also expressed dissent over tax rises, the government’s response to rising cost of living crisis, and its policy direction going forward.
A recent snap YouGov poll of more than 3,000 people has found that seven in 10 Brits think Mr Johnson should resign as Prime Minister – but he has reportedly told allies that he intends to fight on despite the resignations.
Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said he would welcome a snap election and that the country needed a change of government, adding: “After all the sleaze, all the failure, it’s clear that this Tory government is now collapsing.”
A Number 10 source said the PM is determined to “deliver what he promised the people”.
Kool Runnings’ legendary Caribbean food truck is back in Old Trafford
Now more than ever, we’re starting to get used to the fact that the food businesses we love often come and then go. But in the case of Kool Runnings’ Caribbean food truck, whenever it goes missing there’s always more than a little bit of a panic.
The legendary kitchen-on-wheels has been feeding its community for a quarter of a decade, and if it disappears – as it sometimes does – its loyal regulars start to fret.
Lately, the truck has been missing from its Old Trafford patch. As a result, fans have been left wondering what is going on and whether it might have closed for good, as so many great hospitality businesses seem to be doing at the moment.
Good news, then, that after a short hiatus, it is back: once again parked up in its rightful spot, slinging out its famous fried and jerk chicken, as well as handmade patties, massive dumplings, creamy coleslaw, mac and cheese, and plenty more to the waiting crowds.
Owner Aval Saunders has been steadfastly feeding his community what is widely considered to be some of the best Yard food in the north since 1998, cooking late into the night out of his food truck with a little help from his sons.
He hates waste and will generally stay open serving until all the food is gone. Making everything from scratch, with fresh patties prepared daily, also means that everything is super fresh – but the days are long, and he works hard.
Queues here are common, especially in the summer when the smell of spiced meat on charcoal billows from the trailer and hungrily winds its way around the neighbourhood.
It’s unsurprising, then, that he felt he needed a bit of a break – telling us that he has just returned from spending time abroad recuperating in Jamaica.
“So yeah, we’ve been back home to Jamaica just to have a bit of rest because you know we’re busy we’re very busy,” he told The Manc.
“A lot of people missed us you know, since we come back a lot of people came back, complaining, kept saying ‘where were you guys, where were you guys?’ But we had to take a break because we’re tired innit.”
It’s dark and our pictures don’t really do it justice, but trust us when we say that the food here is worth every bit of hype that it gets.
A fixture in the community for some twenty-five years now, it’s become a longstanding favourite for whole generations.
Aval’s cooking has also amassed some famous fans over the years. Footballers like Sergio Agüero, Andy Cole and Rio Ferdinand, as well as sports personalities Usain Bolt and Tyson Fury are known to be regulars.
Even Ainsley Harriot of Ready Steady Cook fame has popped by the truck in the past for a scran, so we understand.
This is the sort of food that you just want to shovel in, no cutlery needed. Packed with flavour, then jerk chicken here is marinaded in a secret rub and then thrown on the grill until it’s blackened with smoke, whilst its accompanying gravy is thick, sweet and peppery with a nice hidden kick.
Thank goodness, then, that the Kool Runnings truck is back where it belongs. With the Longsight shop now permanently closed, we were starting to wonder where to go for our next fix.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Man arrested on suspicion of making ‘threats to kill’ Angela Rayner
Another person has been arrested as part of an investigation into threats sent to Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner.
The Stockport-born politician, who is Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, received ‘threats to kill’ from the 34-year-old man in the Hemlington area of Middlesborough.
Officers from GMP and Cleveland Police have now arrested the man in question in the early hours of yesterday morning, Monday 6 February.
He was taken into custody for questioning and has been released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.
It’s the seventh arrest to be made in the ongoing investigation into threats and communications sent to Ms Rayner.
This latest arrest is in relation to a phone call made to her on 30 January 2023.
So far, three convictions have been secured.
Detective Inspector Christopher Dean, of Tameside District CID, said: “GMP will not tolerate any form of abuse including in its online forms – such as calls, texts, emails or via social media – and we will always investigate thoroughly to bring perpetrators to justice.
“If you have been a victim of abuse – whether physical or online – please report it to GMP so we can deal with the matter appropriately. We take reports of this nature very seriously and one of our specially trained officers will be on hand to help.