On Wednesday, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he was resigning after multiple government leaders advised him to step down.
“‘The process of choosing that new leader should begin now. And today, I have appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will until a new leader is in place,” Johnson said while standing in front of the infamous black door at No. 10 Downing Street.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) July 7, 2022
The head of Britain’s Tory Party – the conservative party – met with newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, whom Johnson had installed on Tuesday after his predecessor, Rishi Sunak, had resigned. Zahawi told Johnson that his “situation was not sustainable.” Numerous allies of the prime minister echoed the sentiment.
According to the Daily Mail, some 50 government ministers have quit and advised Johnson to do the same, thereby ending the political crisis that paralyzed the government. Johnson has endured months of criticism and scandal that saw him fined by police and rebuked by the investigator’s report for allowing rule-breaking parties in his office while Britain tolerated pandemic lockdowns.
Johnson’s knowledge of Chris Pincher’s alleged sexual misconduct before he promoted him to deputy chief whip added more pressure on the embroiled leader.
Johnson said on Thursday, “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new Prime Minister.”
The prime minister went on to praise the accomplishments of the current government, noting the largest conservative majority since 1987 and the biggest share of the vote since 1979. He lauded achieving Brexit, managing the fastest COVID-19 vaccination rollout and exit from lockdowns in Europe and standing up to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Johnson thanked the public and explained his reasoning for fighting to remain in power, “I felt it was my job, my duty and my obligation to continue to do what we promised in 2019.”
Johnson concluded his resignation speech with, “Even if sometimes things seem dark now, our future together is golden, thank you.”
Two possibilities exist: Johnson could stay in power until a new leader is selected or step down and a “caretaker Prime Minister” step in as a proxy until the selection of a leader. According to the Daily Mail, Johnson prefers the first, while his critics prefer the second.