Politics

Setback for Sunak as Two Gov’t Ministers Resign

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s faltering government was dealt a fresh blow on Tuesday as two of his ministers announced their resignations as the Tories are barrelling towards a likely disaster at the impending general election.

Skills Minister Robert Halfon tendered his resignation from the government on Tuesday afternoon, as well as announcing that he would be stepping down as a member of Parliament at the next election. The move came as Armed Forces Minister James Heappey confirmed that it would be his last day at the Ministry of Defence after previously announcing his plans to quit parliament.

In his letter of resignation, referencing the Lord of the Rings, Mr Halfon wrote: “As I move towards stepping down at the General Election, I am reminded of what Gandalf said to Frodo Baggins after the defeat of Sauron in the Lord of the Rings: I am with you at present…but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire…My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so.

“And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help…among the great you are, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.”

Halfon exited his post praising Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for his “work ethic, integrity and ability to solve complex problems faced by our country” and vowed to continue to support the government.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey posted a picture of himself on social media leaving the Ministry of Defence for the last time, writing:  “I’ve loved every minute as MinAF in this incredible department. Our Armed Forces & MOD civil servants are the very best of us. Representing them in Parliament & around the world over last 4.5 years has been an amazing privilege.”

The two resignations mean that now 63 Conservative MPs plan to quit parliament at the next election, in which the Tory Party is widely predicted to face an electoral “wipeout” to the Labour Party amid voter anger over the government’s failures to deliver on the promises of Brexit, namely economic prosperity and reducing immigration, both legal and illegal.

Prime Minister Sunak, who has struggled to connect to the public since being installed in Downing Street against the wishes of the Conservative Party membership in 2022 following a palace coup against short-termed PM Liz Truss, will be forced into conducting a mini cabinet reshuffle to replace his two ministers.

Allies of the Prime Minister have attempted to play down the importance of Sunak losing yet more high-profile supporters, including Science Minister Andrew Griffith, who claimed “it is not unsurprising or unnatural at this point in the cycle” to shed long-serving members.

According to a Tory Party insider speaking to The Telegraph, the continuous flow of parliamentarian resignations has created a “stench of death” around the party.

In addition to the numerous MP resignations, which include former PM Theresa May, the Tories have also seen two high profile defections this month, including former deputy party chairman Lee Anderson and Greater Manchester mayoral candidate Dan Barker, both of whom broke ranks to join the Nigel Farage-founded Reform UK formerly known as the Brexit Party.

The insurgent populist right-wing party has successfully swayed swaths of Conservative voters over to their side, with a recent poll finding that Reform UK is only trailing the Tories by four points by a margin of 15 to 19 per cent. However, despite the Labour Party of Sir Keir Starmer being to the left of the public on many issues, it has been able to maintain its commanding lead in the polls, at around 44 per cent support and is generally predicted as the likely election winner.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on X: or e-mail to: kzindulka@breitbart.com



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