UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Resigns Following a Party Mutiny
On Thursday, a historic party revolt over a series of ethics scandals forced Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister of Britain.
Johnson’s attempts to maintain power were ultimately unsuccessful because nearly 60 members of his government resigned. While the Conservative Party begins the process of selecting a new leader, the Prime Minister has insisted he will remain in his current role as a caretaker leader.
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According to some prominent members of his own party, even that cannot be maintained while his support base continues to dwindle.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Resigns
Many people are lining up to take his place. Timelines for a leadership election, according to party officials, will be made public by Monday.
Johnson announced his resignation, without using the words “I’m resigning,” in front of the famous 10 Downing Street door, where many of his predecessors had also delivered their own resignation address.
“It is clear now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore, a new prime minister,” Johnson said.
Next week, he will announce a timeline for starting the process of selecting a new leader.
Johnson said he appointed a new cabinet “to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place,” suggesting he intends to remain in office for as long as possible. Appointing new cabinet ministers ensures government continuity as he prepares to leave office.
Johnson discussed his “painful” decision to resign as president but did not address the scandals that ultimately led to his political demise.
“In the last few days, I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much… and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally,” Johnson said.
“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments, and of course, it’s painful, not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself,” he said, adding that he’s proud of “getting Brexit done” and “leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.”
Then, in a direct address to the voters, Johnson revealed his regret at leaving office after nearly three years.
Despite the unprecedented exodus of mid-level ministers from the government, a brutal grilling at Prime Minister’s Questions, and a humiliating appearance before a committee of senior lawmakers in Parliament, Johnson initially attempted to ride out the crisis. This Wednesday, he was still adamant that he would not be resigning.
Some of his closest supporters told him Thursday that their patience was running out, and he caved.
According to UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Johnson made the “right decision” to resign. Keeping the government running until a new leader is chosen requires “calmness and unity,” she said.
To fulfill his “duty to ensure that the country has a functioning government,” Greg Clark, the newly appointed UK Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, made this statement.
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