Government’s most senior LGBTQ+ minister resigns over Boris Johnson’s ‘indefensible’ actions

Stuart Andrew leaves Number 10

Boris Johnson’s government has continued to fall apart as the highest-ranking LGBTQ+ Tory in government has quit.

Housing minister Stuart Andrew announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon (6 July) that he has stepped down from a role he was only appointed to six months ago.

The gay Conservative MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough said in his resignation letter: “Loyalty and unity are traits that I have always endeavoured to provide for our great party. However, I fear I have let these override my judgement recently.

“There comes a time when you have to look at your own personal integrity and that time is now. Therefore, given recent events, I have no other choice than to resign.

“Our party, particularly our members and more importantly our great country, deserve better. Having a marginal seat I have seen the huge sacrifice our members make in volunteering considerable hours to campaign on our behalf and I cannot, in all good conscience, tolerate them having to defend the indefensible.”

Stuart, a former assistant whip, is the ninth minister to resign from Johnson’s scandal-scarred government. Many have slammed the integrity of the prime minister after it emerged he hired Chris Pincher to a senior job despite knowing about allegations of groping.

Johnson’s government has so far haemorrhaged 21 government officials, from members of his top team to Parliamentary Private Secretaries.

And the letters have been bruising. Sajid Javid criticised “the tone” Johnson has set in recent months, saying he in “good conscience” cannot remain in his post as health secretary.

While former chancellor Rishi Sunak dealt a brutal broadside to Johnson as he quit only minutes later. The public, he wrote, “rightly expect the government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously”.

Johnson’s government, he said, has not lived up to this.

What set off the train of events was the emerging revelations around Pincher, MP for Tamworth, whom Johnson appointed deputy chief whip in February despite being aware of an investigation involving accusations of sexual misconduct and excessive drinking.

Pincher resigned as the party’s deputy chief whip after admitting, while heavily drunk at a private member’s club in central London, he allegedly groped two men.

While Downing Street initially denied Johnson was aware of the accusations, Johnson’s office later admitted the prime minister had been told about a 2019 complaint into Pincher’s conduct.

This all but broke apart what was once a government unified in its backing of Johnson, who has so far survived a vote of no confidence, multiple investigations and a criminal fine from police for his involvement in a series of law-breaking lockdown parties.