UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson resigns

Written by on July 7, 2022

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned Thursday, bringing an acrimonious end to a nearly three-year premiership that has been beset by controversy and scandal.

Speaking outside Downing Street, Johnson said the process for choosing the new leader of the Conservative Party should begin now, with a timetable to be announced next week.His decision to remain in office comes despite a clear lack of support from within his own party and a growing push across the political spectrum for him to step down immediately.

It comes as the wave of resignations from Johnson’s government and party since Tuesday evening approached 60, with one Conservative Party member after another publicly voicing their lack of confidence in the prime minister.

Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi was the latest of Johnson’s allies to urge him to “go now,” saying the unprecedented political crisis over his future was not sustainable and would “only get worse.”

Remarkably, Zahawi’s call for Johnson to step down came just two days after the prime minister appointed him finance minister.

The relentless stream of resignations was dramatically kickstarted by Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. The two high-profile ministers quit within minutes of each on Tuesday evening following a dispute over Johnson’s decision to appoint Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip earlier this year.

Pincher resigned and was suspended as a Conservative Party MP last week, following accusations that he drunkenly groped two men at a private members’ club. It has since emerged that Johnson appointed him to the role despite knowing of previous misconduct allegations against him.

Johnson apologised for appointing Pincher as deputy chief whip. He has since repeatedly rejected calls to resign, claiming he had a “colossal mandate” to keep going. By Thursday, however, Johnson bowed to the political pressure over his future and announced he would step down.

Johnson’s downfall brings an end to his reputation as the “Teflon” prime minister. The 58-year-old former London mayor had become known for his ability to wriggle out of political controversies.

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