British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation, marking the end of his ill-fated three-year reign as leader. Spea
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation, marking the end of his ill-fated three-year reign as leader.
Speaking in front of his No. 10 residence in Downing Street, London, the scandal-scarred leader said “it is clearly now the will of the parliamentary conservative party that there should be a new leader and a new prime minister.”
“The process of that should begin now. the timetable should be announced next week. I want to say to the millions of people that voted for us in 2019, thank you for that incredible mandate,” he said.
Johnson said that he had fought to persuade his colleagues over the past few days that it would be ill-advised to “change governments when we are delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we are actually only a handful of points behind in the polls.”
“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course, it is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself,” he said.
But Johnson blamed herd mentality for ultimately ousting him from Downing Street.
“As we have seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves and my friends in politics no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times,” he said.
Speaking to his future replacement, Johnson said, “I will give you as much support as I can.”
“And to you, the British public, I know that there will be many people who are relieved and perhaps quite a few who will also be disappointed, and I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks,” he said.
The prime minister’s decision to step down follows a string of controversies that broke trust in his leadership, from “Partygate” lockdown scandal to the cost-of-living crisis to accusations of sexual misconduct among his top leadership.
Johnson, who took office in 2019, will remain as the British leader until a successor is appointed, which could be until fall if his party lets him.
More than 50 ministers and aides have quit the government in less than 48 hours, with seven of them handing in their resignation letters Thursday morning, saying Johnson is not fit to be in charge after a string of scandals.
It is the highest number of resignations any British leader had received while clinging on to power.
Desperate pleas for the scandal-scarred leader to leave office from some of his closest allies flooded Downing Street in the last 48 hours over Johnson’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations against senior party official Chris Pincher.
UK Labour leader Keir Starmer celebrated news of Johnson’s imminent resignation on Twitter, writing, “We need a fresh start for Britain.”
“It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister. But it should have happened long ago. He was always unfit for office,” Starmer said in a statement.