Foreign

Johnson to resign as Tory leader but remain as PM

Boris Johnson will stand down as Prime Minister after the mass resignation of his ministers, prompted by a string of scandals.

Johnson resigned after at least several dozen Tory MPs quit the government, including former chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid.

A senior government source told Insider he is quitting as leader of the Conservative Party, but “remains Prime Minister until [a] new leader is in place in time for party conference. As agreed with Graham Brady”, the chair of the backbench 1922 committee.

Cabinet ministers, including the newly promoted ministers Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Education Secretary Michelle Donelan, as well as Simon Hart and Brandon Lewis, gathered to tell Johnson he had to go.

Nadhim Zahawi, who was brought in to replace Rishi Sunak late on Tuesday night, published a letter Thursday morning telling Johnson he must go.

Using Treasury-headed paper, the Cabinet minister confirmed he was one of several senior Tories who told Johnson the time had come for him to quit.

“I am heartbroken that he hasn’t listened,” Zahawi added. “Prime Minister, you know in your heart what the right thing to do is, and go now.”

His intervention comes after another deluge of ministerial resignations brought the total to leave Johnson’s government to more than 50.

Michelle Donelan later resigned after 36 hours as Education Secretary. However, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he would remain as Defence Secretary citing the safety of the UK.

The ministers quit following the latest scandal around Johnson’s premiership allegations that Chris Pincher, his deputy chief whip, had drunkenly groped two men in a private members’ club.

In the aftermath of Pincher’s resignation, Johnson claimed not to have known about similar allegations when he gave him the job. That soon fell apart in another public example of him not telling the truth.

Those who quit repeatedly cited a loss of trust in the government, and in Johnson personally, as their reason for going.

In April, Johnson became the first sitting prime minister to be found to have broken the law after he received a fine from the Metropolitan Police for attending an illegal gathering in Downing Street during a coronavirus lockdown, despite telling Parliament that he and others had followed the rules.

The gathering, to mark his birthday, was one of a number of lockdown-breaking events in the “Partygate” scandal examined by senior civil servant Sue Gray. In a report, Gray criticised “failures of leadership and judgement in No 10 and the Cabinet Office” amid details of vomiting, fighting, and a child’s swing being broken in parties at the heart of government.

On June 6, he survived a vote of no confidence which saw 41% of his own MPs vote to remove him.

Johnson was also criticized for moving to refurbish his official apartment with money from a Conservative Party donor.

Source : Businessinsider

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