Boris Johnson Has Officially Resigned As PM


After his chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, urged ham to step down and a number of cabinet colleagues left, Boris Johnson announced today that he would step down as leader of the Conservative Party. However, he will fight to remain as prime minister until the fall.

After numerous cabinet members urged him to step down and more than 50 ministers resigned due to his handling of a number of scandals, his departure ends an extraordinary standoff.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “The prime minister will make a statement to the country today.”

However, he is expected to push to stay on as prime minister until the autumn while a Conservative leadership contest takes place.

He is likely to face intense pressure from his cabinet and MPs to go further and resign as prime minister as well, making way for a caretaker leader such as Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, or Theresa May, Johnson’s predecessor.

Two ex-ministers said it was not possible for Johnson to stay until the autumn. One said: “He needs to be gone by tonight. Raab should take over.” Another said: “He needs to hand in the seals of office today and go, so we can have a caretaker PM.”

Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak’s resignations from their positions as chancellor and health secretary, respectively, on Tuesday evening marked the beginning of the uprising.

With elections for the 1922 Committee’s executive set to take place on Monday and likely to result in a modification to the rules, Johnson faced the possibility of a second vote of no confidence as early as next week.

Three years of controversies led to his resignation, including outrage over how he handled allegations of sexual harassment against the deputy chief whip Pincher; a police fine for lockdown parties in Downing Street; attempts to alter the standards system; and charges of breaking international law.

The loss of Zahawi’s popular support seemed to be the tipping point for Johnson. The new chancellor was on board with announcing a joint economic strategy with Johnson the following week, according to a briefing from No. 10 on Wednesday evening. No. 10 also stated that Zahawi was still open to working with Johnson.

But on Thursday morning, Zahawi published a letter in which he expressed his “heartbreak” at Johnson’s failure to heed his recommendation to quit as a friend of more than 30 years.

“Prime Minister, this cannot continue and will only become worse for you, the Conservative party, and most importantly, the entire nation. He responded, “You must do the right thing and leave right away, but he stopped short of admitting defeat.

Michelle Donelan, the education secretary appointed this week, also resigned, saying the cabinet needed to force Johnson’s hand.

She followed Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, who also resigned on Thursday morning.

Lewis said: “A decent and responsible government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect – it is a matter of profound personal regret that I must leave government as I no longer believe those values are being upheld.”