Boris Johnson resigns as leader of the Conservative Party

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, worn down by scandals and weakened by an unprecedented series of resignations, announced his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party on Thursday, paving the way for his successor as Prime Minister.

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“It is clearly the will of the Conservative Party that there is a new leader and therefore a new Prime Minister,” he told a press conference outside Downing Street, saying he was “sad to be leaving the best job in the world”.

He added that the timetable for electing a new Conservative leader would be finalized next week.

Boris Johnson resigns as leader of the Conservative Party

“We don’t need a change at the top of the Tories. We need a real change of government,” opposition leader Keir Starmer had argued shortly before, threatening a vote of no confidence in the House of Representatives if Mr Johnson stayed in power.

Resignations and calls for Mr Johnson’s resignation, three turbulent years marked by repeated scandals, continued on Thursday as Downing Street announced a series of appointments to replace resigning ministers and foreign secretary.

The brand-new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, appointed on Tuesday, had urged Boris Johnson to “go now”, while the education minister, also appointed on Tuesday, announced her resignation.

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In all, around sixty departures from government have been announced since Tuesday, including five ministers, an exodus of unprecedented speed in British political history.

“Yesterday I asked you to resign (…) in the interests of our party and the country. You have put us in an impossible situation,” new Secretary of Education Michelle Donelan wrote in her resignation letter, declaring that she had “no choice”.

The British Minister for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, has also announced his resignation.

“Decent and responsible government is built on honesty, integrity and mutual respect – it is with deep personal regret that I must leave government as I believe these values ​​are no longer upheld,” he said. writes Brandon Lewis, emphasizing that, in his opinion, the “point of no return” has been reached.

Repeated scandals

On Wednesday night, several ministers went to Downing Street to persuade Boris Johnson that, having lost the Conservative Party’s confidence, it was in his interest and that of the country that he should resign.

The 58-year-old Prime Minister, who says he has a “colossal mandate” to fulfil, sacked on Wednesday night the minister responsible, who had first come to advise him to resign earlier in the day, Michael Gove, in retaliation to the territorial realignment. According to the BBC, Downing Street has called Michael Gove a ‘snake’ not trusted by Mr Johnson.

“Bye Boris”

Resignations had rolled in all Wednesday, the Conservative Party weary of repeated scandals since Boris Johnson, the former Brexit hero, arrived at Downing Street in 2019. The weekly question and answer session in the House of Representatives had been particularly boisterous for Mr Johnson, with fresh calls from his own camp for his resignation, laughter that betrayed a loss of authority and a “Bye Boris” at the end of the session.

Discontent has simmered for months, fueled notably by the Downing Street partying scandal during anti-Covid confinement, when Britons were forced to abide by very strict rules.

Known for not being close to a lie, Boris Johnson had varied his statements, provoking frustration and then anger among elected Conservatives in a country faced with record 9% inflation and social movements. His popularity rating had dropped and almost 70% of Brits want him gone, according to two polls this week.

The resignations of Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid on Tuesday night came after a new sex scandal involving the deputy ‘whip’ responsible for discipline for Conservative MPs Mr Johnson, which Hallali sparked for the prime minister “forgot” about similar allegations in February.

Mr Johnson escaped a no-confidence vote last month, but 40% of Tory MPs refused to put their trust in him.

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