It’s been a tough year for Theresa May – since the 2017 General Election didn’t quite go to plan, she’s been hit by a series of political tidal waves, including resignation after resignation.
Yet somehow the PM has managed to cling to power, despite losing more than one minister a month on average since voters went to the polls 16 months ago.
For comparison, during his second term in government, from May 2015 to July 2016, May’s predecessor David Cameron suffered the loss of just one member of his team – unless he counts himself of course.
Iain Duncan Smith stepped down from the Cabinet in March 2016, saying he was unable to accept planned cuts to disability benefits.
So, in case you needed a reminder, here are the resignations Theresa May’s government has grappled with since the 2017 election.
1. Lord Bridges
George Bridges was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union until he resigned on June 12, 2017.
He left the post over differences between May’s approach to Brexit and his own.
2. Lord Price
Mark Price was the Minister for State, Trade and Investment until he resigned on September 3, 2017.
When the former chairman of John Lewis quit, he said his tenure in the role was “always going to time-limited”.
3. Baroness Anelay
The peer resigned on 27 October, 2017 as a Minister of State for Exiting the European Union for health reasons, citing an injury she sustained in 2015.
She said she hurt herself when exiting a helicopter, describing it as “one ill-judged leap”.
4. Michael Fallon
The first big name on the list, Michael Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary during the Westminster sexual harassment scandal.
Admitting his behaviour had “fallen short” of expectations, he left his frontbench position on 1 November, 2017.
5. Priti Patel
Patel sensationally resigned on 8 November, 2017 as the Secretary of State for International Development when it became clear she was going to be sacked, and after the UK media feverishly tracked her return journey to the UK following an official trip to Kenya.
She had held meetings with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, without informing the Foreign Office beforehand – a flagrant breach of protocol.
6. Damien Green
Green resigned at First Secretary of State – essentially May’s number two – after admitting he made “misleading” statements about pornography on his office computers. He left the post on 20 December, 2017.
7. Justine Greening
Greening chose to resign from office on 8 January 2018 rather than accept the role of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she was reshuffled from her position as Education Secretary.
8. Amber Rudd
In one of the biggest political scandals of the year, Home Secretary Amber Rudd was forced to resign when her department was exposed for deporting Windrush citizens generation and amid claims by MPs that she was “making up immigration policy on the hoof”.
She left on 29 April, 2019 and an official report released this week stated she had been ‘let down’ by officials within her department.
9. Phillip Lee
Lee resigned as the Under-Secretary of State for Youth Justice on 12 June, 2018 over concerns he held about the government’s Brexit policy.
In his resignation letter, he said it was so he could “better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is currently being delivered”.
10. Greg Hands
Hands resigned as Trade Minister on 25 June, 2018, after Parliament approved a planned expansion of Heathrow airport, which he opposed.
11. David Davis
Davis was the first big name to go after May unveiled her divisive Chequers strategy for implementing Brexit.
A leading Brexiteer for all of his political career, he resigned as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on 8 July, 2018 saying he “did not believe in” the PM’s plan.
12. Steve Baker
Baker was Davis’ deputy in the Brexit department and resigned shortly after him on 8 July, 2018.
He claimed it was because his department had been left out of the loop when creating the Chequers agreement and that he and Davis had been “blindsided by this policy”.
14. Boris Johnson
After the departure of Davis and Baker, everyone expected Johnson to follow suit and resign as Foreign Secretary – which he did the next day, on 9 July, 2018.
It was expected that such a huge departure at the time would lead to a serious rethink of Chequers or even topple May’s government, but neither scenario emerged.
15. Andrew Griffiths
Griffiths resigned as the Minister for Small Businesses a few days after the string of Chequers resignations, on 13 July, 2018.
But Griffiths’ departure had nothing to do with Brexit – he left government after the Sunday Mirror revealed he’d sent more than 2,000 texts, many of a sexual nature, to two female constituents.
16. Guto Bebb
It really was a tough month for May, as following the string of Brexit resignations and the Griffiths embarrassment, Bebb resigned on July 17.
He stepped down as Minister for Defence Procurement after he voted against against the whip on a Brexiteer-backed amendment to the Customs Bill.
17. Tracey Crouch
Just after everyone began to believe Chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn Budget had created more headaches for Labour than the Tories, Crouch handed in her resignation as Sports Minister on 1 November.
She quit in protest over a six-month delay to in implementing a planned crackdown on fixed-odds betting machines, which would have seen the maximum stake slashed from £100 to £2.
Crouch had campaigned hard on the issue and when she discovered it had been put back to October 2019 as opposed to April, she chose to walk.
Honourable Mention: Lord Bates
International Development minister Lord Bates tried to resign after being late for a debate in the House of Lords in January.
He said at the time he was “thoroughly ashamed at not being in my place” when he should have been answering questions, he then walked out of the lobby as colleagues shouted: “No!”
However, No.10 refused to accept his resignation and he still serves in the post.