Breaking news out of Downing Street Thursday AM: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is resigning. As late as Wednesday, Johnson had vowed to remain in the position, even while dozens in his conservative coalition had resigned. As we reported Wednesday evening:
The stream of resignations began Tuesday evening, when two member of Johnson’s cabinet, Chancellor of the Exchequer (similar to the U.S. Treasury secretary) Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid, resigned, according to Sky News.
But at midnight BST today, the complete tally of resignations from Wednesday, as reported by ITV’s Daniel Hewitt, was 35. The total number of resignations stands at 45 (with one firing).
Yet, Johnson appeared to be holding out.
Now, however, he has announced his resignation, though he will remain in the PM until his successor is chosen.
BREAKING: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his resignation in a speech at Downing Street.
Johnson said he has appointed a new Cabinet to serve while he remains the UK’s prime minister until a successor is chosen. https://t.co/5seFn54ISp
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 7, 2022
Per the AP:
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally succumbed to political reality Thursday and agreed to resign after the latest ethics scandal around his leadership led some 50 senior lawmakers to quit the government.
Johnson had clung to power for two days, defiantly telling lawmakers on Wednesday that he had a “colossal mandate” from voters and intended to get on with the business of government.
But he was forced to concede defeat Thursday morning after two more members of his Cabinet quit and one of his closest allies, Treasury Chief Nadhim Zahawi, publicly told him to resign for the good of the country.
The Conservative Party will now hold an internal election to select a new leader, who will then become the new Prime Minister.