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Friday, August 19, 2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson steps down as Prime Minister

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Boris Johnson is stepping down as British Prime Minister today, according to British media. The BBC and The Guardian report that he will release a statement today.

Update, 1.30 pm:

Johnson officially announced his resignation as prime minister during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. He will step down as leader of the Conservative Party with immediate effect but will remain, prime minister, until a successor is found. The search for his successor will start from next week, according to Johnson.

The British Prime Minister has been under fire for some time over various scandals. One of these is the so-called party gate affair, which is about banned government parties that were given during corona time. Last month, Johnson survived a confidence vote surrounding this affair: 148 party members voted for his departure, 211 against.

This week, Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid resigned, having been fed up with all the scandals surrounding Johnson. The two ministers were particularly angry about the latest riot. Johnson chose at the beginning of the year to give party colleague Chris Pincher, who was accused of sexual misconduct, a position.

The departure of Sunak and Javid turned out to be the beginning of the exodus. More than 50 ministers and other cabinet officials resigned from Johnson’s government between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Even Education Minister Michelle Donelan, who was appointed on Tuesday to replace the resigned Nadhim Zahawi, resigned on Thursday morning.

Johnson held on to his premiership on Wednesday and refused to leave, claiming he still had sufficient authority to lead the country. He seems to have returned to that on Thursday. According to British media such as the BBC and The Guardian, Johnson wants to resign as leader of the Conservative Party, but wants to remain as prime minister until the autumn, until a new leader is elected for his party.

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