UK Brexit minister David Frost resigns as new COVID rules spark anger

David Frost, UK Brexit Minister
Image Source: AP

Lord David Frost, Minister of State in the Cabinet Office, speaks during the Conservative Party convention in Manchester, England

A senior member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet resigned on Saturday night, sparking a sense of disarray within the government, which has faced revolt this week from its own lawmakers and voters.

Brexit Minister David Frost said in a letter to Johnson that he was stepping down immediately after a newspaper reported he planned to step down next month.

Frost said the process of leaving the EU would be a long-term job. “Therefore we agreed earlier this month that I would go ahead in January and hand over the baton to others to manage our future relationship with the EU,” he said in his resignation letter.

However, the Mail said earlier on Sunday that he had resigned due to growing disenchantment with Johnson’s policies. The newspaper said Frost’s decision was triggered last week by the introduction of new pandemic restrictions, including a requirement that people enter nightclubs and other crowded places to be vaccinated or have a negative coronavirus test. show evidence.

And in his resignation letter, Frost said the UK “needs to learn to live with Covid. … You made a brave decision in July, against considerable opposition, to reopen the country. Didn’t prove irreversible, as I wanted to, and believe you did too. I hope we can get back on track soon and not be affected by the kind of coercive measures we’ve seen elsewhere.”

The news comes after Johnson’s Conservative Party suffered a crushing defeat in Thursday’s by-election in North Shropshire, a longtime party stronghold. Earlier this week, 99 Conservative lawmakers voted against the so-called vaccine passport in the House of Commons, the biggest revolt in Johnson’s 2 1/2 years as prime minister.

Opposition Labor deputy leader Angela Rainer said Johnson was unprepared for work as the Omicron version drives a spike in coronavirus infections.

“A government in utter chaos when the country faces an uncertain few weeks? We deserve better than this buffalo,” tweeted Rainer. Even some members of Johnson’s own party piled on.

“The PM lacks the time and friends to deliver on the promises and discipline of a true Conservative government,” tweeted Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen. Most importantly, the people of North Shropshire did the same.

Frost led talks with the EU as Johnson’s government sought to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.

His resignation comes after Britain recently softened its stance in talks with the EU on post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland. The change in tone from Britain came as a surprise to many as it sounded contrary to their fanatical position.

The Brexit minister, nicknamed “Frosty the No Man”.

Johnson’s government is also coming under fire over reports that officials organized Christmas parties last year when pandemic regulations prohibited such gatherings.

Adding to his problems with the so-called PartyGate scandal, Johnson’s choice to investigate the claims had to be put aside after being tied to such parties.

Civil Service chief Simon Case stepped down from the investigation after the Guido Fox website reported on Friday that his department conducted two parties in December 2020.

The scandal erupted after a video surfaced showing a fake news conference, in which some of Johnson’s employees appeared to shine a light on the party violating the rules of the pandemic. Until then, the prime minister had strongly denied that government officials had broken any lockdown rules.

The Times of London newspaper reported on Saturday that one of the events organized by the Cabinet Office, the Case’s Department, was included in the digital calendar as “Christmas Party!” was listed as and was conducted by a member of Case’s team.

The Cabinet Office said on Friday that the event was a virtual quiz in which very few people working together in the same office participated from their desks.

“The Cabinet Secretary played no part in the event but passed through the team’s office on his way to his office,” the office said in a statement. “No outside guests or other staff were invited or present. It went on for an hour and drinks and snacks were bought by the attendees. He also spoke briefly to the office staff before leaving.”

Read also: UK sees record Covid cases at 93,045 for third day in a row

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