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Chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid resign from government

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CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid have resigned from Boris Johnson’s government.

The chancellor, who quit moments after Mr Javid, said: “The public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

In his letter to the PM, Mr Javid said he could “no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this government” as he referenced the tone and values of Mr Johnson reflecting “on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country”.

He added: “It is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too.”

The pair’s resignations came minutes after Mr Johnson gave an interview admitting he should not have appointed MP Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip in February after claims the MP groped two men last week.

As the most senior person in government after the prime minister, Mr Sunak’s resignation is a big blow to Mr Johnson while Mr Javid, who ran against Mr Johnson in the leadership election, has played a major role during the pandemic.

It is understood that the pair had not coordinated their resignations but Mr Sunak may have already been preparing to step down and was prompted to this evening by Mr Javid’s announcement.

Following their resignations, several cabinet ministers said they will not be doing so. They include: Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Attorney General Suella Braverman, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Scotland Secretary Alister Jack

Wales Secretary and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart also confirmed that he would not be resigning.

Last Friday, after Playbook reported the PM had been informed of allegations against Pincher before appointing him, his spokesman said initially that he was “not aware of any allegations” before correcting himself to clarify he meant “specific” ones, and insisted that “in the absence of any formal complaint it was not appropriate to stop the appointment on the basis of unsubstantiated” claims …

On Monday, after the Sunday Times published details of how an MP raised a specific incident with a No. 10 aide and the incoming chief whip in February, the spokesman said the PM had been aware of “media reports” and “some allegations that were either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint,” adding again that he deemed it wouldn’t be right to block the appointment “in the absence of any formal complaint” …

Now, the BBC’s Ione Wells reports that Johnson and his deputy Dominic Raab were told of a formal complaint about Pincher which — crucially — triggered a disciplinary process that confirmed Pincher’s misconduct in 2018. Let’s see what No. 10 comes up with today.

Eyebrows were raised by many when serving government minister Greg Hands published a tweet last night rubbishing the government’s policy on the civil service fast stream. In fewer than 280 characters, Hands illustrates one of the biggest problems that No. 10 has on its hands: the collapse in frontbench discipline. Hands is no old Johnson ally — he backed Jeremy Hunt in the leadership contest and pointedly quit over Heathrow expansion in 2018 at a time when Johnson didn’t — but has been very loyal since Johnson became PM, and gave him his full-throated backing ahead of the confidence vote. As a Tory source pointed out to Playbook: “If you want an illustration of how much his authority has sapped since the vote of no confidence … that’s it.”

Hands is not the first to test the principle of collective responsibility.

On Friday, Welsh Secretary and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart all but ripped up the No. 10 lines he had been given for the morning broadcast round, saying instead when asked if Pincher should lose the whip: “I know what I’d like to see happen — you can probably tell what that is by the way I’m trying to avoid answering your question…

“I think we might be having a very different conversation as the day goes on”, he added.

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Large emergency service mobilisation to assist driver who went over cliff near oil refinery

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POLICE, ambulance, coastguard, and RNLI and two helicopters were all involved in the extraction of a casualty from a vehicle which had gone over a cliff and landed on the beach at Popton Fort very near to Valero Oil Refinery on Thursday morning.

The emergency call came just after 6.30am, with a large number of rescuers arriving quickly to assist the driver of the vehicle.

Valero oil refinery confirmed that the incident did not involve their facility.

RNLI Angle posted on social media saying the following: “Our crew were paged at 6:37am to a vehicle over the cliff near Popton Fort.

“A vehicle had left the road and fallen onto the beach below.

“Police, ambulance, the fire service and St Govans and Tenby coastguard rescue teams were already on scene, however the lifeboat was requested to assist with evacuating the casualty due to the difficult location.

“Following assessment and stabilisation by paramedics, it was decided that the casualty’s injuries were potentially too severe for transfer by sea, but not ruled out completely due to the incoming tide.

“With this, a request was made for the air ambulance to attend.

“With the air ambulance paramedics now on scene, their assessment was that evacuation by helicopter would be the most appropriate, therefore a further request was made for the a coastguard rescue helicopter to attend and evacuate the casualty.

“With the option of evacuation by lifeboat still a possibility, the all-weather lifeboat stood off should it be required.

“With the coastguard helicopter now on scene, the casualty was handed over into the helicopter for onward transfer to hospital.

“The lifeboat was stood down to return to station, arriving back at 8:30am.”

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National Park Trust supporters take a walk on the wild side

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SUPPORTERS of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust were treated to a dazzling display of wildlife during a recent guided walk through Skrinkle Meadow.

The event, which took place against a backdrop of glorious summer weather, was arranged as a way of expressing thanks to Trust supporters and highlighting the importance of meadows and the Trust’s Make More Meadows campaign.

The Make More Meadows campaign has been running since April 2019, and seeks to reverse a dramatic national decline in wildflower meadows over the last 75 years. So far, it has raised enough money to support 13 meadow sites, covering a total of 132 hectares and providing vital habitats for pollinators and other wildlife.

Director of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust Jessica Morgan said: “The Walk and Talk event at Skrinkle was an excellent opportunity to showcase the colourful results of meadow restoration, and our thanks go to National Park Authority Ranger Service Manager Libby Taylor, whose expertise turned this into a thoroughly enjoyable visit. National Park Authority Wardens have worked for years to improve biodiversity at Skrinkle Meadow, and seeds from the meadow have been used to create other wildflower meadows in the Park.

“On this occasion, six-spot burnet moths stole the show, but in previous years Skrinkle Meadow has provided some of the best orchid displays and richest variety of wildflowers in the county.”

The meadow regeneration theme was of particular interest to many of the attendees, who either have meadows of their own, or are considering establishing new ones.

To learn about the work of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust and exclusive supporter events like this, sign up to the newsletter at https://pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales/

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Paddleboarder with suspected wrist fracture assisted by Fishguard RNLI

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ON SATURDAY (Aug 13), a female paddleboarder, who decided to take a swim when located at Aber Bach, unfortunately fractured her wrist when diving from a nearby rock. Her female companion called for assistance which resulted in Fishguard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat being tasked to the scene, located between Fishguard and Dinas Head.

The inshore lifeboat, with three crew members, launched at 2.20pm and arrived on scene at 2.40pm. Her injury was assessed by a crew member, who is a practicing doctor, and she and her companion were transferred to Pwllgwaelod beach where their car was located and they drove to Withybush Hospital for further treatment.

The lifeboat then returned to base at 3.00pm.

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