UK Political Crisis LIVE Updates: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative party leader on Thursday after days of political crisis following a string of defections from ministers and his party’s lawmakers who said he was no longer fit to govern.
The move came after eight ministers, including two secretaries of state, resigned, forcing him to declare he was stepping down later on Thursday. Read More
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After lavishly redecorating their Downing Street flat, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie now risk being homeless and face calls to find a new venue for their wedding party. They have been planning a more glamorous reception at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat northwest of London, on July 30.
Boris Johnson told his cabinet the government will now focus on the agenda on which it was elected, and not seek to implement new policies or make major changes of direction. “The prime minister opened cabinet by welcoming those returning or joining for the first time. He said his priority would now be to continue delivering on manifesto pledges and making sure the government is on the side of the public, on the cost of energy, transport and housing and all else that matters to them. He made clear the government would not seek to implement new policies or make major changes of direction, rather it would focus on delivering the agenda on which the government was elected. He said major fiscal decisions should be left for the next prime minister,” 10 Downing Street said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, hours after announcing his resignation as Conservative Party leader said, “I want to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege of serving you as Prime Minister. I want you to know that from now until my successor is in place, your interests will be served and the government of the country will be carried on.”
I want to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege of serving you as Prime Minister.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 7, 2022
As Boris Johnson announced his resignation speech as Conservative Party leader, triggering a leadership race for a new British prime minister, at least one Indian-origin candidate is lined up to compete for the “best job in the world”. Goan-origin Suella Braverman, currently the Attorney General in the UK Cabinet, is among the early Tory members of Parliament to formally declare her leadership bid, with other Indian-origin colleagues such as recently resigned Cabinet minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel also seen as possible contenders for the top job.
In one of the biggest turnaround of political fortunes in British history, Boris Johnson’s term as Prime Minister came to a crashing halt on Thursday in the wake of unsustainable pressure from within his Cabinet since the dramatic exit of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid opened the floodgates for further ministerial exits. A strong cheerleader for closer India-UK relations, Johnson will no doubt be remembered in New Delhi for not only his close friendship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi but also for pushing along free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations towards a Diwali 2022 deadline.
Irish prime minister Micheal Martin that Boris Johnson’s resignation as Conservative leader was “an opportunity” to reset fraught relations. “We have now an opportunity to return to the true spirit of partnership and mutual respect that is needed to underpin the gains of the Good Friday Agreement,” Martin said in a statement. The 1998 peace accords ended decades of bloodshed over British rule in Northern Ireland but has been increasingly strained by Brexit.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson should leave office immediately as Britain cannot afford a drawn-out Conservative contest to replace him, former Tory leader John Major said Thursday. Major, prime minister from 1990 to 1997, echoed opposition parties including Labour, which said it wanted a vote of no confidence in parliament rather than letting Johnson stay on for months.
Dominic Raab will not be a candidate in the Tory leadership contest, according to reports by the Daily Mail. Political critics have said the move is not surprising as Raab is one of the few cabinet ministers who was never expected to stand as a candidate for the prime minister. But as deputy prime minister, as well as justice secretary, some in the party would like him to take over as interim prime minister until a new leader is elected, as per reports.
The former first secretary of state and chair of the One Nation Conservatives, Damian Green has said Tom Tugendhat will be a candidate for next Tory leader and that he is supporting him, according to Sky News. Tugendhat is chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee.
A Conservative leadership contest will take place in coming weeks after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Thursday he is resigning as the party’s leader though he will continue to serve as prime minister until a successor is elected by party members. READ MORE
Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of his new cabinet at 3pm local time, 10 Downing Street said in an announcement. Johnson resigned as leader of the Conservative party, triggering a race for the new prime minister after dozens of ministers quit his government over 48 hours.
Ukraine on Thursday thanked Britain’s Boris Johnson for supporting the war-torn country in “the hardest times” following Russia’s invasion, after the politician stepped down as Conservative leader, clearing the way for his departure as prime minister. “Thanks @BorisJohnson for… always being at the forefront of supporting Ukraine,” presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation as Conservative party leader, acknowledging that it was “clearly the will” of his party that he should go, triggering a leadership election for a new Tory leader who will go on to become the new PM. In an address to the nation outside 10 Downing Street, Johnson said he was sad to give up the best job in the world. “I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world,” Johnson said following his decision to resign as PM after a series of scandals and an exodus of cabinet ministers. READ MORE
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called for “calmness and unity” after Boris Johnson quit as Conservative Party leader. “The PM has made the right decision. The Government under Boris’s leadership had many achievements — delivering Brexit, vaccines and backing Ukraine. We need calmness and unity now and to keep governing while a new leader is found,” she tweeted from Bali where she is scheduled to attend a G20 ministerial meeting on Friday.
European Union Spokesperson said, “From our point of view, the political developments do not change our position on the (Northern Ireland) protocol or the way in which we work with our British counterparts on Northern Ireland. Our position is that we should endeavour to seek solutions as regards to the implementation of the protocol.”
Leader of Opposition Labour Party Keir Starmer said, “It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister.” “But it should have happened long ago. He was always unfit for office. He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale.”
Boris Johnson thanked his wife Carrie and his family, civil servant and staff who have helped him, referring to being “here at Chequers”, before he corrects himself. And he thanked his protection team, “the one group who do not leak,” he said. He ended his speech by saying the future is golden.
Boris Johnson announced his resignation as Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader in a speech, stating he wants to level up, because he believes talent is evenly spread. He said he has tried to persuade colleagues that changing leader would be “eccentric”. But he failed to persuade them, he admits – even though the party has a “vast mandate” and is only “a handful of points behind in the polls”. He said in politics “no one is remotely indispensable”. The “Darwinian” electoral system will produce a new leader, he added. He further said he knows there will be people who will be disappointed. “I am sad to be giving up the best job in the world”, he said.
Boris Johnson in a live address said he has decided to step down as British Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. Johnson said he was elected with the biggest majority since 1987 and the biggest share of the vote since 1979. He mentions Brexit and getting the country through the pandemic and delivering the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe. And Britian has led the way in supporting Ukraine, he says.
A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister “will make a statement to the country today”.
According to the Associated Press, Johnson finally agreed to step down after one of his closest allies, Treasury Chief Nadhim Zahawi, told the prime minister to resign for the good of the country. It was not immediately clear whether Johnson will stay in office while the Conservative Party chooses a new leader, who will automatically become prime minister as well.
Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer called it “good news” that Johnson was going to quit but said what was needed was “a proper change of government”. The departure of education minister Michelle Donelan and a plea to quit from finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, only in their jobs for two days, appeared to tip the balance.
Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis kicked off Thursday’s frenzied events, becoming the fourth cabinet minister to resign, writing that Johnson was “past the point of no return”. The shock resignations of finance chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid late Tuesday set off a chain of others. They quit after Johnson apologised for appointing as deputy chief whip senior Conservative MP Chris Pincher, who was forced to step down following accusations he drunkenly groped two men.
Downing Street at first denied Johnson knew of the prior allegations but the defence collapsed after a former top civil servant said Johnson was told in 2019 about another incident. Tory critics said the Pincher affair had tipped many over the edge, angry at having to defend what they saw as more lies by Johnson.
Thursday’s major development comes a day after the British Prime Minister said he was not going to resign, and that the last thing the country needed was a national election.
“I am not going to step down and the last thing this country needs, frankly, is an election,” he told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday when asked to confirm he would not seek to call an election rather than resign if he lost a vote of confidence. Johnson has been battling leadership claims despite a wave of more than 50 government resignations.
The Conservatives will now have to elect a new leader, a process which could take about two months. “As well as resigning as party leader the PM must resign his office,” Conservative lawmaker Nick Gibb said. “After losing so many ministers, he has lost the trust and authority required to continue.”
His expected departure Thursday comes just three years after he took over from Theresa May in an internal Conservative leadership contest.