BREAKING: UK PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON RESIGNS
Written by Samson Ojeniran on July 7, 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has on Thursday officially resigned from his office.
Speaking outside Downing Street, Johnson said the process for choosing the new leader of the Conservative Party should begin now, with a timetable to be announced next week. He said he intends to remain in place until a new Tory leader is elected.
His decision to remain in office comes despite a clear lack of support from within his own party and a growing push across the political spectrum for him to step down immediately.
Johnson said he was “sad to be giving up the best job in the world,” but conceded that “no one is remotely indispensable” in politics.
Referring to members of his own ruling party who turned against him, Johnson said: “At Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves.”
Johnson thanked his wife Carrie Johnson, his children, the National Health Service, armed forces and Downing Street staff. “Above all, I want to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege that you have given me.”
He concluded his roughly six-minute speech by seeking to strike an upbeat tone. “Even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden.”
It comes as the wave of resignations from Johnson’s government and party since Tuesday evening approached 60, with one Conservative Party member after another publicly voicing their lack of confidence in the prime minister.
Earlier, it was not immediately clear whether Johnson would stay in office while the Conservative Party chooses a new leader, who will replace him as prime minister.
Minutes before the news broke, Finance minister Nadhim Zahawi called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign just two days after the prime minister appointed him finance minister, while another newly appointed Cabinet minister quit her post.
Zahawi said Johnson knew “the right thing to do” was to “go now.”
Zahawi was appointed late Tuesday to replace Rishi Sunak, who resigned saying he could no longer support Johnson after a series of ethics scandals.