Norfolk MP quits government role as prime minister clings to power

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker. - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker has quit his position as a PPS (parliamentary private secretary) in the wake of the Chris Pincher scandal. 

It comes amid a flurry of resignations yesterday evening and today, as Boris Johnson's premiership looks ever more fragile.

Mr Baker, who was given the PPS position in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in February, said: "As I said just a couple of weeks ago, we must not dismiss the by-election results as ‘mid-term’ blues.

"They were not and they were a clear indicator of how the country feels. 

"The breakdown in trust from the last six months is abundantly clear.

"The latest situation to unfold regarding Chris Pincher only compounds those feelings, with many now recognising the situation is clearly unsustainable.

Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) Christopher Pincher in Down

Christopher Pincher MP, who was removed from his post as Minister of State for Housing during a reshuffle today (February 8) - Credit: PA/Dominic Lipinski

"In my short time as the MP for North Norfolk, I have spoken out time and time again on matters relating to integrity, leadership and trust."

As of 3.40pm today, 31 MPs had resigned from government roles, sparked by the exits of chancellor Rishi Sunak and health minister Sajid Javid on Tuesday evening.

Mr Baker joined the exodus just after 3pm as pressure on the PM continued to build, with reports that senior colleagues and allies had told him it was time to resign, including Michael Gove.

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The North Norfolk MP said he had to stay true to his "values and principles".

"I have felt for a considerable while that the situation cannot go on," Mr Baker continued. 

"I do not have confidence in the prime minister and resign my role as a PPS in the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

"It has been a real privilege in such a short time to serve in that position and steer through important reforms to help not only my constituency but the country too."