LONDON — Two of Boris Johnson’s most senior Cabinet ministers quit within minutes of each another, putting his government in a new crisis.

Rishi Sunak, Treasury chief, and Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, resigned because Johnson’s government was not competent or “acting for the national interest.”

After Johnson was accused of lying about how he dealt with sexual misconduct claims by a lawmaker, Johnson made the apparently coordinated exits.

Javid and Sunak, both key Cabinet members, are considered potential successors of Johnson.

Here’s a look at Sunak and Javid:



Sunak wrote Johnson in his resignation letter that “it has become evident to me that our methods are fundamentally too differ.”

The public expects government to function properly, competently, and with respect. He wrote that although this is my last job as a minister, he believes these standards are worth fighting for.

Sunak was until recently widely considered the party’s brightest rising star and the most well-known potential leader contender — and the favorite of the bookies to succeed Johnson.

Sunak, 42 years old, was put in the spotlight after he was appointed treasury chief for 2020. He had the difficult task of guiding the economy through the worst economic slump since records began due to the pandemic. His policies were generally viewed positively, as he spent billions of pounds on emergency spending to support workers and businesses.

But “partygate” changed all that. He was also fined by the police for attending a Downing Street lockdown party in June 2020. He was also criticised for not responding quickly to Britain’s severe cost of living crisis.

Sunak was also under pressure after it emerged that Akshata Murthy his wife avoided paying U.K. tax on her income from overseas. The former investment banker kept his U.S. greencard while serving in the government.

Sunak was born to Indian parents, who immigrated to the U.K. in East Africa. He attended Winchester College and later studied at Oxford.

Because he is out of touch with ordinary voters, some see his elite education and past work at Goldman Sachs Investment Bank and a hedge fund as a weakness.



Javid stated that he could not continue to serve in the government “in good conscience”

Javid, 52 years old, is the health secretary and has led Britain’s COVID-19 response.

He was formerly treasury chief. However, he resigned as such in 2020 after a dispute with Johnson about his order to fire his advisers.

Johnson brought Johnson back to the government to manage the coronavirus response, proving his competence.

Javid is a father of four and was first elected to office in 2010. He has held various government positions, including as home secretary and heading departments for culture, housing, and business.

Johnson defeated him in the fourth round of the 2019 Conservative leadership election.

Javid, the son of Pakistani immigrants and a politician, has described himself as a common-man’s alternative to his private school-educated peers. However, he did have a successful career in investment banking prior to entering politics.