There are calls for a general election to be held after the UK Government was thrown into chaos on Tuesday evening. After a tumultuous few months for Boris Johnson, his tenure as Prime Minister hit a fresh nadir shortly after 6pm on Tuesday when Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned from his post and was quickly followed within minutes by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who did the same.
The two resignations have rocked the Conservative government, with many now calling for Mr Johnson himself to quit, less than three years into his reign as Prime Minister. You can follow lives updates with reaction to the resignations here.
Read more: Woman taken to hospital after crash which closed busy Cardiff road for hours
The huge developments came after Mr Johnson was forced into a humiliating apology over his handling of the Chris Pincher row, when it emerged he had forgotten about being told of previous allegations of “inappropriate” conduct regarding the former deputy chief whip.
The PM acknowledged he should have sacked Mr Pincher when he was told about the claims against him when he was a Foreign Office minister in 2019, but instead Mr Johnson went on to appoint him to other Government roles. With the cabinet being thrown into disarray – with speculation continuing over whether other senior figures will resign – calls have been made for a general election to take place so that the people of the UK can once again have a say in who runs the country.
Shortly after news of the resignations broke, the Labour MP for Rhondda, Chris Bryant, said the decisions to quit by high-ranking Tory members of the Government should have come sooner. He said: "I want a general election. All these people should have resigned months ago. They should never have put him in Downing Street in the first place. They have been complicit throughout.”
Meanwhile, Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, wrote on Twitter: “Minister tells me that if I want to get rid of the PM, I need a general election – fine, bring it on. If Tory MPs are incapable of growing a spine & getting rid of him, let the country do it .”
She also wrote: "Drunk on power, Boris Johnson sullied, despoiled and eroded the idea of public duty the moment he stepped through the door of No.10. He must go. But the length of time it took ministers to act, means big questions about the future of the Conservatives. We need a general election.”
Anas Sarwar, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, said: “This is rats fleeing a sinking ship. Boris Johnson must resign and the Tories must call a general election. Only Labour can replace this morally bankrupt and corrupt Tory government, and build a better future for the UK.”
The last UK general election was held in December 2019 when the Conservative Party won with a majority of 80 seats. Led by Boris Johnson, they won a total of 365 seats in a crushing victory against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
Previous to that, there was a general election in 2017 when Theresa May was leader of the Conservative Party. On that occasion they were also the largest party in Parliament, with 317 seats won, but failed to secure an overall majority. Therefore, if a general election is called at any time in the coming weeks or even months, it will be the third election in less than six years.