After a 38-hour pause for thought, Philp quits government

THE LONG GOODBYE: Political editor WALTER CRONXITE on a display of craven self-interest that managed to surpass all previous efforts by the Tory MP for Croydon South

The final knockings: ‘King of the World’ Boris Johnson is coming to the end of his reign

At long last, at 8.06 this morning, it happened.

Chris Philp joined the rats leaving Boris Johnson’s sinking ship.

More than 50 ministers and parliamentary aides had resigned before the Tory MP for Croydon South got around to breaking his six-day silence on social media.

In the past couple of days, Conservative MPs had been suddenly discovering their “principles” and something they called “integrity” – well, at least some of them did.

It had all started around 6pm on Tuesday, when Sajid Javid and then Rishi Sunak both announced that they were quitting their cabinet jobs. It took Philp another 38 hours to get round to it.

Indeed, Philp left his resignation as a government minister so late, he nearly managed to delay it until after Johnson himself got round to recognising his own position was entirely untenable.

Even then, Blo-Jo’s erstwhile Tech and Digital Economy Minister managed to demonstrate his own poor judgement yet again, by turning his resignation letter into a sad CV of all his perceived achievements while in government.

In something that read like a 10-year-old’s “what we did on our school holidays” essay, Philp spent more than 200 words detailing his work in the DCMS before any mention of public trust or integrity.

But then, what would Philp know of such attributes?

Philp has spent the past two years popping up on television and radio whenever required, or ordered, to defend the latest in a series of sleazy scandals that Johnson allowed to exist under his premiership. Philp’s ministerial mission on behalf of Johnson turned him into a very well-paid liar.

And yet today, in his resignation letter, Philp actually included the words “Given events over the past few weeks and months…”.

With the Tory government in a tail-spin of the latest crisis of its own making – after Philp’s fellow ministers had gone out and told to the nation that the Prime Minister didn’t know that deputy chief whip Chris Pincher was a sex pest, when Johnson had known for some time – Philp had been AWOL from social media for six days.

He broke his silence with a picture of his resignation letter and this message on Twitter: “I’m deeply saddened it has come to this, but the PM should step down given public and Parliamentary confidence has clearly gone, and given the importance of integrity in public life.

“I’m therefore stepping down as Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy now.”

Delayed reaction: Chris Philp’s resignation letter came at 8.06am today, after 50 of his fellow government ministers and aides had already quit

Why the inordinate delay? There’s a possibility that Philp might have been consulting with the members of the Croydon South Conservative Association, although Inside Croydon has seen no evidence that that was the case.

And while it all took him far too long, Philp’s demonstration of self-preservation over the best interests of the nation was by no means the worst example of mutton-headedness among his erstwhile government colleagues.

Sainsbury shelf-stacker: Sutton’s Tory MP, Paul Scully, was still a government minister at 9am today

Suella Braverman, the attorney general – and who was on the same Croydon South candidate shortlist with Philp eight years ago or so – seriously believed that she could tell Johnson to resign while clinging on to her own ministerial red box. And this is the calibre of individual we have running the country…

And if Philp’s silence seemed to last forever, consider the poor constituents of Sutton and Cheam, whose Tory MP, Paul Scully, had said nothing during the unfolding crisis in Downing Street. Such loyalty! Such devotion! Such poor judgement…

With the game up a long time ago, Scully issued a self-justifying message just after 9am today, muttering something about trying to do the right thing for the country and continuing the functions of government. Basically, he confirmed that he had not resigned.

Perhaps Scully and Braverman are in a terrible Tory pact of last man or woman standing?

Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on his own future later today.

Read more: Croydon South’s Tory MP called a ‘liar’ 16 times on national TV
Read more: MP Philp: ‘Brown-nosing is first, second and third nature’
Read more: ‘A pattern of unacceptable behaviour, spread over months’
Read more: ‘The Prime Minister admits he lied’ says Tory Lord Barwell


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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15 Responses to After a 38-hour pause for thought, Philp quits government

  1. Derek Nicholls says:

    Hopefully, this will give our MP more time to deal with the crazy schemes of Croydon Council and the Labour Mayor of London. Be in no doubt: Sadiq Khan will extend the ULEZ over the whole of Greater London (yes, it will cost £12.50 to drive to the shops/doctor/station) unless removed from office. He ignores consultation results which he doesn’t like. Remember the introduction of the 20 mph speed limit in the south of the borough which so many people objected to.

  2. “Unless removed from office”?

    And how you intending to do that, Del-boy?

    Not a fan of democracy, eh? Not heard of the climate crisis?

  3. Susan Williams says:

    Philp is lower in my estimation than ever before.

    What a spineless little git. When Johnson was clearly mortally wounded, he didn’t have the backbone to take a moral position. Could he have left his resignation letter any later?

    A talentless opportunist who I shall never vote for again. I might also add a completely ineffective local MP who has the gravitas of bap.

  4. Philp didn’t so much fall on his sword as trip up over his own shoelaces

  5. derekthrower says:

    Philp must be gutted that his skills collection of utter sycophancy and mendacity required by a Johnson regime to prop it up may now not be of so much value after clownfall.

    So it looks like the attempts to become a member of the cabinet have now come to an end with more time to spend with his dodgy mortgage refinancing company and holidays in his old favourites of Macedonia and Cyprus.

  6. Ben says:

    Nice typo in the final sentence, attention to detail as always with Chris. Assumed he was going to hang on for a short-lived cabinet post but obviously didn’t see any career benefit on continuing to toady up to Johnson.

  7. No doubt elderflower cordial corks will be popping in IC’s swanky headquarters! But a general election is unlikely to give us any respite from our woes – just look at all the wimpy, unprincipled candidates on both side of the house. I fear we’re doomed!

  8. SallyM says:

    If Boris can stand down, Heather Cheesborough and Nicola Townsend can too.

  9. David White says:

    Could it be that Philp’s letter finally persuaded Boris to go?? We shall have to start taking him more seriously 😉

    • Nick Davies says:

      “It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment Boris Johnson knew his time was up. After all, he’d already outstayed his welcome by hours. If not days. If not weeks. If not months. If not years. But hearing that Chris Philp had resigned as digital minister must have come as a killer punch.

      “Ministers don’t come more stupid or more loyal than Philp. There is literally nothing he won’t do or say to get noticed. To be loved. His neediness is matched only by his limitless appetite for humiliation. Without Philp, the Convict was down to the real dregs. Peter Bone and Michael Fabricant. Even he could see that wasn’t going to fly”

  10. Lewis White says:

    It will be jolly interesting to see who chooses the cabinet ministers needed to re-fill the seats of power. Will Boris actually choose them from the diminished pool of still loyal MPs (if anyone is left who actually would say “Yes Prime Minister–I’d be honoured to take that role on”, or will those mysterious grandee 1922 Committee-ers actually “suggest” the right people to the PM?

    Whether one likes or loathes Boris, (I cannot hate him, as that is not the right thing to do…..) is he a puppet to be pulled by somebody’s else’s strings?

    I don’t think so.

    Will he announce his resignation from the PM ship soon? Watch this space.

    Who is or are the real masters now? Will they be getting on the ‘phone to Chris Philp with an offer he can’t refuse?


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