Boris Johnson to step down as UK prime minister

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After three tumultuous years, Boris Johnson will be stepping down as Prime Minister of the UK. Per CNN, Johnson announced on Thursday, July 7, that replacing him needs to begin immediately. The timeline of the process will be released next week.

It has been a breakneck week for Britain’s Conservative Party. Almost 60 government figures, which include five cabinet ministers, have resigned since Tuesday, July 5. This is due to fury over the disastrous handling of Chris Pincher’s resignation. Johnson’s former deputy chief, Whip, was accused of inappropriately touching two men last week.

This was the breaking point for Johnson, as it is far from the only scandal he has been involved in. While the Pincher situation is the most serious, it is certainly not the first. Boris Johnson had made headlines for putting the Queen in a very awkward position when she signed off on the prorogation of Parliament, asking a party donor for $280,000 to refurbish the PM residence at Downing Street, the Paterson lobbying incident, and holding parties during COVID lockdowns.

Johnson has attempted to navigate the Pincher storm and stayed firm as late as Wednesday, July 6, that he would not resign. Yet, after meeting with his most stalwart allies, the disgraced leader admitted defeat. 

Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposing Labour Party, called Johnson’s resignation “good news for the country” and added, “he was unfit for office.” Sir Starmer did not mince his words in his critique of the Conservative Party, blaming it for “twelve years of empty promises including a decline in the economy and public services.”

Boris Johnson may retain his position until his party gathers for its annual conference in October. It is customary for a Conservative leader to allow time for a replacement to be chosen. In this case, some are calling for Johnson to omit this step and leave office immediately.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of Business & Energy, tweeted, “We need a new leader ASAP.” Another leading Conservative, Steve Barker, commented, “We don’t need to prolong this situation.”

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