David Frost resigns from cabinet
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Lord Frost’s decision was being widely reported on Sunday, with the Mail on Sunday suggesting it had been prompted by the introduction Plan B Covid measures, including vaccine passports. He is also thought to be unhappy at planned tax rises and the cost of ‘net zero’ environmental policies.
Mr Farage tweeted: “Lord Frost is leaving the Government because he is a conservative and true Brexiteer. Boris Johnson is neither.”
Ben Habib, like Mr Farage a former Brexit Party MEP, tweeted: “Good for @DavidGHFrost resigning.
“He’s right to dissociate himself from this failing govt.”
And Rupert Lowe, another ex-Brexit Party MEP, added: “If he thinks the direction of this Government is worth resigning over, then that should leave us all deeply concerned. It can’t go on like this.”
Mr Johnson is under intense pressure as the Omicron variant fuels a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, with 99 Tories voting against the Government in protest at plans to introduce vaccine passports last week.
He is also reeling from the Tories’ embarrassing loss in the North West Shropshire by-election on Thursday.
Martin Daubney, also a former Brexit Party MEP who is now deputy leader of the Reclaim Party, tweeted: “This is precisely what we said at @thereclaimparty from day one of this campaign
“Boris is losing on lockdowns, taxation and net zero nonsense that will break the working classes.
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“Keep this guff up and North Shropshire will merely be the beginning of the Tory nightmare.”
Other parties wasted little time putting the boot in either.
Baroness Jenny Chapman, who as Labour’s Shadow Minister of State at the Cabinet Office is Lord Frost’s opposite number, said: “The Government is in chaos.
“The country needs leadership not a lame duck PM who has lost the faith of his MPs and Cabinet.
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“Boris Johnson needs to get a grip, tell us his plan for the next few weeks and bring certainty for the people of Northern Ireland by unblocking the stalemate over the Protocol.”
Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman, said: “This shock resignation is a sign of the chaos and confusion at the heart of this Conservative government.
“The rats are fleeing Boris Johnson’s sinking ship as he lurches from crisis to crisis.
“Even the Prime Minister’s once-loyal supporters are now abandoning him, just as lifelong Conservative voters are switching in their droves to the Liberal Democrats.
“At a time we need strong leadership to get us through the pandemic, we instead have a weak Prime Minister who has lost the support of his allies and the trust of the British people.”
In Northern Ireland, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said Lord Frost’s departure was a bad sign for Mr Johnson’s commitment to removing the Irish Sea border.
Sir Jeffrey said: “This Government is distracted by internal strife, and Lord Frost was being frustrated on a number of fronts.
“We wish David well. We enjoyed a strong relationship with him and his team, but this raises more serious questions for the Prime Minister and his approach to the NI Protocol.”
In his letter of resigntion to Mr Johnson, Lord Frost said: “You know my concerns about the current direction of travel. I hope we will move as fast as possible to where we need to get to: a lightly regulated, low-tax, entrepreneurial economy, at the cutting edge of modern science and economic change.
“Three hundred years of history show that countries which take that route grow and prosper, and I am confident we will too.”
He added: “We also need to learn to live with Covid and I know that is your instinct too.
“You took a brave decision in July, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again.
“Sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as I wished, and believe you did too. I hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere.”
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