Britain falls into a government crisis. Amidst sharp criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid have resigned. In his letter of resignation published on Tuesday evening, Javid wrote that he had lost confidence in the head of government. They are now demanding the same from Johnson.

It was “clear that this government is collapsing now,” wrote opposition leader Keir Starmer of the Labor Party in a first reaction: “The Tory party is corrupt and just replacing a man will not fix anything.” What the country need, are quick new elections.

The ministerial resignations come minutes after Johnson apologized in the evening for appointing a representative of his Conservative Tory party suspected of sexual harassment as Deputy Secretary of Parliament.

Deputy CEO Chris Pincher resigned late last week after sexually harassing two men. It became known that there had been allegations against him in the past.

In his resignation letter to Johnson, Treasury Secretary Sunak wrote that the public “rightly expects the government to be run properly, competently and seriously”. “I believe those standards are worth fighting for and that’s why I’m resigning.” Javid told Johnson the situation would not change under his leadership.

Under Johnson’s leadership, the Conservative Party is not viewed by the public as value-led, nor does it serve the national interest. Even after the party-internal vote of no confidence, which Johnson narrowly won recently, the prime minister did not initiate a change of course. “It is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership,” Javid wrote.

Finance Minister Sunak stressed that he had always been loyal to Johnson. “But the public rightly expects the government to act correctly, competently and seriously.” The broadcaster Sky News quoted an unnamed member of the government as saying that Johnson was now almost impossible to keep in office.

A government spokesman initially denied that Johnson knew about the old allegations against Pincher. That line of defense collapsed on Tuesday after a senior former official said Johnson had been briefed on an incident in 2019. Opposition MPs and some Tories then accused the prime minister of lying.

“I think it was a mistake and I apologize for it,” Johnson told reporters about Pincher’s appointment that evening. “In retrospect, it was wrong to do that.”

The ruling party has been shaken by a series of scandals in recent months. In mid-May, a member of parliament was temporarily arrested on suspicion of rape. Also in May, a former Tory MP was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for sexually abusing a minor. At the end of April, a member of parliament resigned after watching porn videos on his mobile phone in parliament.

In addition, there is the scandal surrounding alcohol-fueled parties at the seat of government during the corona lockdown, which brought Prime Minister Johnson an internal party vote of no confidence. The prime minister barely survived the vote in early June. At that time, Health Minister Javid had publicly backed the head of government. Now Javid wrote that after surviving the vote of no confidence, Johnson had had the opportunity to show “humility, grip and new leadership”. But now it has become clear to him “that the situation will not change under your leadership and you have lost my confidence as a result”.

The Pincher affair was the last straw for Sunak and Javid, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, one of Johnson’s harshest critics, told Sky News. “It’s time for Boris to go. He can delay that for a few more hours if he wants. But I and a large part of the party are now determined that he has to be gone by the summer break: the sooner the better.”

Johnson’s appearance in the parliamentary committee is planned for Wednesday (4:00 p.m. CEST). The traditional questioning before the so-called Liaison Committee in the House of Commons is one of the highlights of the year in the British Parliament. On no other occasion does the head of government have so few opportunities to avoid uncomfortable questions. The event is therefore also referred to as “grilling”.