Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis backs PM Boris Johnson in face of resignations

Boris Johnson visits Belfast
(left to right) Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis and First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle during the Prime Minister's visit to Belfast.
Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images
Date taken: 13-Aug-2020
Brandon Lewis as been regarded as a Boris Johnson loyalist in the past. Credit: PA Images

The Northern Ireland Secretary has insisted the Prime Minister has his full support.

Brandon Lewis told UTV that Boris Johnson received an overwhelming mandate from the electorate in 2019, as well as an overwhelming mandate in the same year from the party.

Speaking at an integrated school in Belfast, Mr Lewis added that he believes he has a duty to get on with delivering for people.

The Great Yarmouth MP has been regarded as a Boris Johnson loyalist in the past, having often defended the Prime Minister amid other political controversies.

It comes as a number of Conservative ministers have resigned, including Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak.

The pair quit within minutes of each other on Tuesday night, citing standards and integrity as their reasoning.

Nadhim Zahawi has replaced Rishi Sunak as Chancellor while Steve Barclay has stepped into the health secretary role left vacant by Sajid Javid.

The Belfast-born Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns - himself another Boris loyalist - has also pledged his support for the under-fire PM.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson, meanwhile, has also said the Prime Minister Boris Johnson should remain in the job.

He told GB News the country did not need the "indulgence" of a leadership change.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood, however, has said the PM's time in office is up.

“Boris Johnson should have been removed as Prime Minister long ago," he said in a statement.

"That he has been allowed to continue this long and cause further damage is a matter of deep regret. Now that his colleagues are deserting the sinking ship to save their own political careers the writing is on the wall."

Here is a list of the people who have resigned from the Government in the past 24 hours:

  • Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

  • Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

  • Andrew Murrison, trade envoy to Morocco

  • Bim Afolami, Conservative Party vice-chairman

  • Saqib Bhatti, parliamentary private secretary at the Department of Health and Social Care

  • Jonathan Gullis, parliamentary private secretary at the Northern Ireland Office

  • Nicola Richards, parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Transport

  • Virginia Crosbie, parliamentary private secretary at the Welsh Office

  • Theo Clarke, trade envoy to Kenya

  • Alex Chalk, Solicitor General

  • Laura Trott, parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Transport

  • Will Quince, parliamentary under-secretary of state for children and families at the Department for Education

  • Robin Walker, minister of state for school standards at the Department for Education

  • Felicity Buchan, parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

  • John Glen, minister of state at the Treasury

  • Victoria Atkins, minister of state for prisons and probation at the Ministry of Justice

More to follow