Will Quince has resigned as children's minister after publicly defending Boris Johnson over what he knew about allegations surrounding his deputy chief whip.
The MP for Colchester tweeted he was stepping down after "repeating assurances" to the media which have now been found to be "inaccurate".
The Prime Minister has faced a string of resignations over his appointment of Chris Pincher as his deputy chief whip, despite being aware of previous allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
He apologised on Tuesday, saying he regretted appointing the MP, but for days ministers and officials had been insisting he was unaware of the allegations.
Mr Quince had previously defended Boris Johnson, telling the media:
"So I anticipated your question and last night and again this morning, firmly and clearly asked Number 10 for the exact position and I have been given a cast iron, categorical assurance that the Prime Minister was not aware of any complaint or allegation specifically made against the Deputy Chief Whip."
But this morning Mr Quince said he regretted making this statement, saying on twitter:
"With great sadness and regret, I have this morning tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister after I accepted and repeated assurances on Monday to the media which have now been found to be inaccurate.
"I wish my successor well - it is the best job in Government."
Will Quince's resignation to the Prime Minister in full
“Dear Prime Minister. Thank you for meeting with me yesterday evening and for your sincere apology regarding the briefings I received from No 10 ahead of Monday’s media round, which we now know to be inaccurate.
“It is with great sadness and regret that I feel that I have no choice but to tender my resignation as Minister for Children and Families as I accepted and repeated those assurances in good faith.
“It has been an honour to serve in government since 2019 at both the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education.
“Reaching this decision has not been easy. Stepping away from a job I love, where we are working every day to improve the life chances of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people up and down our country, pains me greatly.
“I will miss it hugely but pledge to do all I can to continue this important work from the backbenches.
“I would like to take this opportunity to put on record my sincere thanks to the hundreds of dedicated and hard-working civil servants with whom it has been a pleasure to work.”
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