Following an unprecedented flood of resignations from his administration over the past two days, two sources close to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s thinking said Johnson planned to step down.
According to a close ally, Johnson had demonstrated over the previous 48 hours that he would fight until the end, but now he has agreed to stand down. A new Conservative leader will be named in time for the party’s annual conference but will serve as caretaker prime minister until October.
On Thursday, Johnson will also address the nation.
Johnson submits to the inevitable after losing dozens of ministers and subordinates and being told directly to his face by members of his cabinet, including newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi, that he should go.
The prime minister stood by his challenge on Wednesday, telling his team he planned to fill vacancies. However, on Thursday morning a number of junior ministers joined the departure, and Zahawi tweeted that the situation was « not sustainable » when two cabinet members also left.
It’s a disgraceful finish for a leader who helped his party win a huge majority in the 2019 general election and only last month signaled his intention to stay in power into the 2030s. eight days of international diplomacy at conferences around the world, Johnson was in high spirits as he prepared to deliver his closing speech at the NATO summit in Madrid. He dodged inquiries from reporters on the road about his personal conflicts, choosing to focus on his attempts to help Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
He wanted to be seen as a strong world leader who wasn’t afraid to stand up to bullies and stand up for the weak.
But Tory rage grew in recent days when it became clear the Prime Minister elevated MP Chris Pincher to a senior government post in February amidst a complaint he was aware of. written for inappropriate behavior in 2019. The Prime Minister’s integrity and judgment were then called into question. again by his office’s changing statements about what he knew and about Pincher’s actions.
With Johnson’s impending resignation, there will now be a lengthy election process to choose his replacement as Conservative party leader and prime minister. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak are potential possibilities, although there is no clear favorite. Their resignations, along with those of former health secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday, set the stage for the wave of resignations over the past two days.
Suella Braverman, the attorney general, said she plans to appear late Wednesday. Javid and Zahawi can also run. Other ambitious candidates include former Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who some bookmakers have named a frontrunner, and former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who finished second to Johnson in the 2019 election.