COLCHESTER MP Will Quince has resigned as Minister for Children and Families with immediate effect.

The Conservative MP, who was elected to represent the constituency of Colchester in 2015, made the announcement via social media on Wednesday morning.

Quince had previously stood firm in his support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but recent revelations concerning the PM's appointment of Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip – despite allegations he had acted inappropriately towards other MPs – has seen the Prime Minister come under heavy scrutiny in recent days.

The resignation comes after it emerged Boris Johnson was aware of Pincher's inappropriate behaviour when appointing him as deputy chief whip in the Conservative Party.

No 10 had initially insisted the Prime Minister did not know of the misconduct allegations against Pincher, but on Monday, a government spokesman admitted Johnson had in fact been aware of the speculation surrounding the deputy chief whip.

Quince referred to the controversy in the oprning paragraph of his resignation letter, which read: "Thank you for meeting with me yesterday evening and for your sincere apology regarding the briefings I received from No 10 ahead of Monday’s media round, which we know to be inaccurate."

"It is with great sadness and regret that I feel that I have no choice but to tender my resignation as Minister for Children and Families as I accepted and repeated those assurances in good faith.

"It has been an honour to serve in government since 2019 at both the Department for Work & Pensions and The Department for Education.

"Reaching this decision has not been easy.

"Stepping away from a job I love, where we are working every day to improve the life chances of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people up and down out country, pains me greatly.

"I will miss it hugely but pledge to do all I can to continue this important work from the backbenches.

"I would like to take this opportunity to put on record my sincere thanks to the hundreds of dedicated and hard-working civil servants with whom it has been a pleasure to work."

Resignation ends Quince's long-standing support for Johnson

Will Quince had previously been a steadfast supporter of Johnson, backing the PM in the run-up to the publication of the Sue Gray report, and after he received fixed penalty notices for breaking Covid-19 laws.

Ahead of a confidence vote held in the Prime Minister last month, Quince gave Johnson his public backing. 

He wrote at the time: "I continue to back Boris Johnson as Prime Minister as we continue delivering on the priorities of the British people."

Back in April, Quince voiced his support for Johnson when it emerged the PM was to be fined for breaching Covid rules.

An in February, Quince stood by the Prime Minister when following the publication of the Sue Gray report, which investigated parties in Downing Street which broke Covid-19 restrictions.