August 13, 2022

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns after a rebellion in his party

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns after a rebellion in his party

It took the resignation of nearly 60 members of his cabinet – nearly half the salaries – for Johnson to finally give up his attempts to cling to power. Until then, the prime minister has insisted he will continue as interim leader while the Conservative Party launches the process of selecting a successor.

Some senior figures in his party say that even that would not be sustainable, as fewer people are willing to work with him.

Others are already lining up to replace him. Party officials say they will announce the timetable for the leadership election by Monday.

Speaking in front of the famous door of 10 Downing Street, the same place where many of his predecessors gave their letter of resignation, Johnson announced that he was stepping down – without saying the words out loud.

“It is now clear that the will of the Conservative Parliament is that there should be a new leader for that party and therefore a new prime minister,” Johnson said.

“The process of selecting that new leader must start now,” he added, noting that the timetable would be announced next week.

In a sign that he plans to remain in office as long as possible, Johnson announced that he had appointed a new government “to serve, as I shall, until a new leader takes office”. The appointment of new ministers means that the government can continue to operate while he prepares to leave.

Johnson spoke of his attempts to remain as a leader and how “painful” it was to step down, but he made no mention of the scandals that proved his political downfall.

“In the past few days, I’ve tried to convince my colleagues that it would be strange to change governments when we do so much … and when the economic landscape is very difficult both domestically and internationally,” Johnson said.

“I regret that I did not succeed in these arguments, and of course, it hurts not to be able to see so many ideas and projects for myself,” he said, adding that he was proud of “finishing Brexit” and “leading the West in the face of Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.” .

Johnson went on to address voters directly, expressing his sadness at stepping down after nearly three years.

“To you, the British people: I know there will be a lot of people who are relieved, and maybe some will be disappointed,” he said. “And I want you to know how sad I am to give up the best job in the world, but these are the breaks.”

Johnson has in recent months been immersed in series of scandals Which forced even his staunch supporters to abandon it. The most recent was Downing Street’s failed handling of the resignation of Johnson’s former vice president, Chris Pincher, who was accused of harassing two men last week.
Boris Johnson's tenure was marked by scandal.  Here are some of the biggest

Johnson initially tried to get out of the crisis – despite the unprecedented desertion of mid-ranking ministers from the government, the beating of the prime minister’s questions and a agonizing appearance before a panel of top lawmakers in Parliament. On Wednesday, he still insisted he would not resign.

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He finally gave up on Thursday after some of his most loyal allies told him the game was up.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Johnson had made the “right decision” to resign. “We need calm and unity now and continue ruling until a new leader is found,” she added.

Greg Clark, Britain’s newly appointed Secretary of State for Settlement, Housing and Communities, said he had “a duty to ensure that there was a functioning government in the country”.

The leader of the opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer, said Johnson’s decision to resign was “good news for the country”, adding that it “should have happened long ago”.

“He was always unfit for office,” Starmer said on Twitter. “He was responsible for lies, scandals and fraud on an industrial scale.”

The opposition leader also directed harsh words to the conservatives. “They’ve been in power for 12 years,” Starmer said. “The damage they’ve done is profound. Twelve years of economic stagnation. Twelve years of deteriorating public services. Twelve years of empty promises.”

“That’s enough. We don’t need a Conservative change at the top – we need a proper change of government. We need a fresh start for Britain.”

Boris Johnson scandal timeline

September 9, 2019

Parliament suspends

Two months into his premiership, Boris Johnson suspended – or suspended – Parliament for five weeks before the October 31 deadline to leave the European Union. Opponents say it is an attempt to shut down the debate as Parliament can decide what kind of Brexit deal it takes with the European Union.

September 24

The Supreme Court ruled that Johnson’s decision to abolish Parliament was unlawful and that he was forced to apologize to the Queen.

April 21, 2021

Deeds

The BBC has leaked Johnson’s text messages saying he will “fix” concerns about a change in tax status for the employees of inventor James Dyson who were in the UK building ventilators during the Covid-19 pandemic.

November 2021

Johnson is pressing Conservative MPs to rescind the suspension of Owen Patterson, the Conservative MP accused of breaching lobbying rules. The next day, after a backlash, Johnson made the switch and Patterson resigned.

December 7

A State Department whistleblower leaked emails suggesting Johnson may have lied about evacuating animals before people desperate to escape the Taliban amid the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Dec

Party Gate

Allegations of illegal parties taking place in Downing Street have surfaced in the midst of the lockdown. This was the beginning of the scandal that became known as “Partygate”. Johnson asserts that “all guidance in No. 10 was followed exactly.”

December 9

Renovations

The Electoral Commission fines Johnson for failing to announce the source of funds to renovate his Downing Street home. Johnson faced allegations of corruption after leaked WhatsApp messages that showed Johnson was soliciting money from a Conservative donor.

January 12

Johnson admits he attended a Downing Street party but thought it was a “business occasion”. This was considered a farcical excuse, and the British public’s reaction ensued.

January 12 2022

Friends Contracts

The High Court in London has ruled it was illegal for the Johnson government to award contracts, without competition in 2020 to politically connected PPE suppliers.

January 31

Contact Partygate

The first edition of the Sue Gray Report has been released. It provides details of how Johnson broke the pandemic rules he himself set for the public.

April 12

Police fine Johnson and his adviser for breaching lockdown rules by holding illegal parties in Downing Street. This is the first time a sitting prime minister has been fined for breaking the law.

May 25

Sue Gray’s full report has been released with more details of illegal parties such as “red wine spilled on a wall”. Gray concludes that the senior leadership must “take responsibility for the culture” that has allowed such parties to occur.

Boris Johnson raises a can of beer at his illegal birthday party in June 2020.

June 6

party split

Johnson survived a vote of confidence by a narrow margin as only 59% of his party voted to keep him as party leader.

July 5

Johnson apologizes for appointing Chris Pincher as Vice President of Whip despite being aware of Pincher’s previous allegations of sexual misconduct.

July 5

Two senior cabinet ministers resigned due to a lack of confidence in Johnson which led to a series of cabinet resignations in the next 36 hours.

July 7

Johnson announces his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party.

Source: CNN reports, BBC, UK Parliament

Words, design and development: Sarah-Grace Mankarious and Marco Chacón, CNN

‘Unnecessary damage’

Traditionally, when a Conservative leader resigns, he gives the party time to conduct a comprehensive tour Driving competitionwhere Conservative lawmakers and then party members vote nationwide.

But some said Johnson should leave office more quickly.

“We now need a new leader as soon as practicable,” Business and Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarting said on Twitter. “Someone who can rebuild trust, heal the country, and devise a new, reasonable and consistent economic approach to helping families,” he added.

Why is UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson facing his biggest crisis, and what next?

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also called for the leadership question to be settled.

“There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the past few days (already months) will be over, even though the idea of ​​Boris Johnson staying as prime minister until the fall seems far from ideal, and certainly not sustainable?” Sturgeon said in a series of tweets.

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Conservative MP Steve Baker told CNN the party needed to “move quickly to fight the leadership contest”.

Baker said Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab should be interim prime minister, but Johnson could also continue in office. Raab has been elected for Johnson in the past: when the prime minister was in intensive care with Covid-19 in April 2020, and then again briefly last month when Johnson underwent a “routine” operation and underwent general anesthesia.

Raab has said he will not run as the next Conservative leader, according to Britain’s Palestinian Authority news agency, which would make him a candidate for interim prime minister if Johnson resigns early.

“I am absolutely determined not to prolong this crisis,” Baker told CNN. “If it is agreed within the government that Boris Johnson should continue as a caretaker, that’s fine for me.” “Because we just need to end the crisis, enter the driving contest and start over in September.”

Former British Prime Minister John Major said it would be “unwise and potentially unsustainable” for Johnson to remain in office for an extended period pending the selection of a new Conservative leader. He also indicated that Raab could take over as acting prime minister.

Hours after Johnson’s announcement, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat launched his campaign for the top position with an editorial in Britain’s Telegraph.

barrage of criticism

Johnson’s departure would mark the marked downfall of a prime minister who was once seen as wielding great political powers, with an allure that crossed traditional partisan lines.

Opinion: What finally sank Boris Johnson

He scored a landslide victory in December 2019 on a promise to deliver a Brexit deal and lead the UK to a bright future outside the EU. But his premiership collapsed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In recent months, the prime minister has faced a barrage of criticism from all sides over his behavior and that of some members of his government, including the illegal parties breaking the Covid-19 lockdown thrown into his Downing Street offices for which he and others have been fined. .

Several other scandals hit his position at the polls. These include accusations of improperly using donor money to pay for the renovations of his Downing Street home and ordering MPs to vote in a way that protects a colleague who violated lobbying rules.

Last month, he survived a vote of confidence among his party members, but the final count of MPs who revolted against him was higher than his supporters expected: 41% of his parliamentary party refused to support him.

He suffered another blow late last month when his party lost a parliamentary by-election in one night, raising new questions about his leadership.

His reputation was also damaged by the resignation of his second moral advisor in less than two years.

CNN’s Lauren Kent and Sugam Pokharel contributed to this report.