Boris Johnson to step down as Conservative Party leader

Boris Johnson will step down as leader of the Conservative Party

Many scandals have shaken the administration of Boris Johnson in recent months.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tender his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party, several British media report, as departures multiply within the government.

However, he intends to remain Prime Minister until the autumn, according to the BBC.

A leadership race will be held this summer and the new Prime Minister will be in office for the Conservative Party Conference in October, reports the British media.

According to a Downing Street spokesman, Mr Johnson will make a statement to the country later in the day.

Opposition Leader Keir Starmer said he This was good news but we don't need a change in the leadership of the Tories. We need a real change of government.

Opposition leader Labor Keir Starmer.

The announcement comes as nearly 60 departures have been announced in the government since Tuesday, including five ministers, an exodus of unprecedented speed in British political history.

Newly appointed finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, appointed on Tuesday, called on Boris Johnson to leave now, as the education minister appointed on Tuesday announced her resignation.

Yesterday I begged you to (…) resign for the sake of our party and the country. You have put us in an impossible situation, new education minister Michelle Donelan wrote in her resignation letter, explaining that she had no other choice.

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

Decent and responsible government is based 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, Brandon Lewis wrote in his resignation letter posted on Twitter, stressing that the point of non-return had been reached according to him.

Education Minister Michelle Donelan as she leaves 10 Downing Street. On Wednesday evening, several ministers went to the Prime Minister's residence to convince him to resign, “for the good of the country”.

On Thursday, in deafening silence, no one came to defend Mr. Johnson on the morning news programs, as is usually the custom.

On Wednesday evening, several ministers had gone to Downing Street to try to convince Boris Johnson that, having lost the confidence of the Conservative Party after three turbulent years in office, he should resign, in his interests and that of the country.

The 58-year-old Prime Minister, who says he has a colossal mandate to fulfil, retaliated by dismissing by telephone on Wednesday evening the minister who had first come to advise him to resign earlier in the day, Michael Gove , in charge of territorial rebalancing. According to the BBC, Downing Street called Michael Gove a snake untrustworthy to Mr Johnson.

He told colleagues they should put their hands in in blood to get him out of Downing Street, the tabloid The Sun reported on Thursday, while some commentators made the connection with Donald Trump refusing to recognize the result of the US presidential election in 2020.

All day Wednesday, resignations are happening. were succeeded, the Conservative party weary of repeated scandals since Boris Johnson, the former Brexit hero, arrived in Downing Street in 2019. The weekly question time in the House had been particularly stormy for Mr Johnson, with new calls for resignation in his own camp.

Discontent had been simmering for months, fueled in particular by the scandal of illegal parties in Downing Street during the anti-Covid confinement, when the British had to respect very strict rules.

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

The resignation Tuesday evening of Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, and the Health Minister Sajid Javid, had sounded the hallali for the Prime Minister, after a new sex scandal involving the deputy whip in charge of discipline for Tory MPs, whom Mr Johnson had appointed in February, forgetting past accusations of same type.

Boris Johnson had escaped a vote of no confidence last month, however 40% of Conservative MPs refused to give him their confidence. It was theoretically safe from another vote of no confidence for a year, but the executive board of the 1922 Committee which decides the rules, could modify them in the coming days to organize, if it is not gone by then, a second vote of no confidence.

With information from BBC, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse

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