Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams resigns from UK Government with ‘deep regret’
Craig Williams, the MP for Montgomeryshire and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor, has quit the UK Government.
He is the second Welsh MP to resign from the UK Government after Ynys Mon MP Virginia Crosbie resigned yesterday.
Craig Williams’ neighbour in Brecon and Montgomeryshire, Fay Jones, has said that she will resign as PPS if Boris Johnson isn’t gone by tomorrow.
The number of ministerial resignations today, after Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned yesterday, has now hit 30.
Nevertheless, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged not to resign.
“I am writing to you with deep regret to resign as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer,” Craig Williams said.
“My view has always been that it is important to work as a team and deliver on the priorities that matter most to my constituents in Montgomeryshire.
“The record of this Government, with the challenges we have faced with Covid, cost of living pressures, and war in Europe, is something of which I am immensely proud to have been a part of and will continue to support.
“After the recent vote of confidence, I had given my support to you, with one last benefit of the doubt. I believed it was right that we draw a line under previous events and focus on rebuilding trust with the public and focusing on delivering good policies.
“It has now become apparent over recent days, that this is becoming impossible. It is therefore with deep regret that I resign from your Government.”
Fay Jones, Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, has said she will resign as parliamentary private secretary to Mark Spencer, the leader of the House of Commons, if Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister on Thursday.
In her letter to Mr Spencer, Ms Jones wrote: “It is with deep regret that I urge you to press the Prime Minister to go. I have drafted this letter a number of times; after the vote to protect Owen Paterson and when the full extent of Partygate revelations became clear.
“Despite my anger at the Prime Minister’s handling of those events, in January, I believed his promise to deliver a change of culture in 10 Downing Street, and I fully believed he could do it. It is clear to me now that my faith in him was miscalculated.
“While his support of President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine has been faultless, and he deserves enormous credit for delivering Brexit and spearheading the vaccine rollout, recent days confirm to me that there is a deep erosion of trust and decency at the heart of Government.
“It saddens me greatly that the Conservative Party is so wounded, I no longer believe the Prime Minister capable of mending those wounds. Serving as a PPS to you has been an honour. You have been supportive and nothing but kind and encouraging to me.
“If the Prime Minister fails to leave office by tomorrow, I will be formally resigning my role as PPS. When I became the Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire, I won first prize in the lottery of life. They deserve to be served by a government fully capable of delivering the vision we promised them.”
Resigning yesterday, Virginia Crosbie, who was only elected under Boris Johnson’s leadership in 2019, said that the Prime Minister’s position was now “untenable”.
“I am of the view that if you continue in office then you risk irrevocably harming this government, and the Conservative party and will hand the keys of Downing Street to a Labour Party unfit to govern,” she said.
She cited the handling of the Chris Pincher row, after it emerged earlier today that the Prime Minister had “forgotten” about being told of previous allegations of “inappropriate” conduct.
“I have no idea what is happening at Downing Street but it appears you are either badly advised or unable to change or reform the dysfunctional operation at the centre of the government you lead,” she said.
Meanwhile, Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said that Boris Johnson needed to show that he had control of the party.
“I’ve always said it was essential for the Prime Minister to hold the confidence of our country, party and parliament,” he said.
“It’s disappointing that in recent months the government has struggled to deliver on its important agenda and manifesto commitments that were overwhelmingly endorsed in 2019.
“The Prime Minister must now prove that he can deliver on his mandate.”
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