London: In a major turn of events, Boris Johnson is likely to step down as the British Prime Minister on Thursday after top ministers resigned from his cabinet.
Addressing the nation from Downing Street, Johnson said, “I will serve until a new leader is in place.”
This comes after he was abandoned by ministers and his Conservative Party’s lawmakers who said he was no longer fit to govern.
A string of ministers resigned from Boris Johnson’s cabinet including UK finance Minister, Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, Will Quince, Laura Trott, John Glen and Victoria Atkins.
- “I am immensely proud of my achievements, I will continue till a new leader is in place,” said UK PM Boris Johnson.
“His resignation was inevitable,” Justin Tomlinson, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, said on Twitter. “As a party we must quickly unite and focus on what matters. These are serious times on many fronts.”
- The Conservatives will now have to elect a new leader, a process which could take about two months.
In his resignation letter, Quince said he had “no choice but to tender resignation”, after being given an “inaccurate” briefing over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s appointment of a politician who was the subject of complaints.
Sunak said he was “sad to be leaving the government”, but has come to the conclusion that he “cannot continue like this”.
- “The public rightly expect the government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning,” Rishi Sunak said.
- Javid said he had lost confidence in Boris Johnson’s ability to govern following multiple scandals, saying he could “no longer continue in good conscience”.
- The minister said that many lawmakers and the public had lost confidence in Johnson’s ability to govern in the national interest.
- In his resignation letter, Javid told Johnson that “the values you represent reflect on your colleagues,” and in light of recent scandals, the public had concluded that their party was neither “competent” nor “acting in the national interest.”
- The exit of the top minister comes as Johnson was apologising for keeping the former Conservative party leader Chris Pincher in his post after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.
The recent crisis erupted after lawmaker Chris Pincher, who held a government role involved in pastoral care, was forced to quit over accusations he groped men in a private member’s club.
Johnson had to apologise after it emerged that he was briefed that Pincher had been the subject of previous sexual misconduct complaints before he appointed him. The prime minister said he had forgotten.
Johnson, a former journalist and London mayor who became the face of Britain’s departure from the European Union, won a landslide election victory in 2019 before taking a combative and often chaotic approach to govern.