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UK’s Johnson brushes aside simmering mutiny: ‘Job is to keep going’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is vowing to stay in power despite the resignations of two top Cabinet ministers and a slew of more junior officials, who said they could no longer serve under his scandal-tarred leadership.

Johnson tells lawmakers that “the job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances, when you’ve been handed a colossal mandate, is to keep going.”

Johnson’s hold on power has been shaken by the resignations Tuesday of Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. They quit saying they could no longer support Johnson because of his handling of ethics scandals including the case of a senior official accused of sexual misconduct.

Johnson quickly replaced the two men, but a string of junior ministers have also stepped down, and Johnson’s support inside his Conservative Party is shrinking rapidly.

Opponents also hope to change party rules to allow a new no-confidence vote that could oust Johnson. He survived one such vote last month, with 41% of lawmakers voting against him.

The most immediate challenge for the leader is to get through two public grilling sessions: the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session in Parliament that’s already underway and a long-scheduled interrogation later in the day by a committee of senior lawmakers.

How he handles the tough questions could indicate whether a simmering rebellion in his Conservative Party can gather enough strength to oust him.

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