Boris Johnson Resigns as Tory Chief but To Remain UK PM; Will Have New Cabinet

This comes after a spate of resignations from the Johnson-led British Cabinet, citing his leadership as a reason.

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United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation as the Conservative Party's leader on Thursday, 7 July.

"I will serve as the Prime Minister until a new leader is in place," Johnson said in his address outside 10, Downing Street.

Shortly before resigning, the leader appointed a full replacement Cabinet, with James Cleverly's appointment as the new Education Secretary being among the latest.

Johnson's resignation will trigger a leadership election for a new Tory leader who will go on to become the new premier. Johnson will remain in charge at 10 Downing Street until the process of electing a new leader is completed by the time of the Conservative Party conference, scheduled for October.


This comes after a spate of resignations from the Johnson-led British Cabinet, citing his leadership as a reason.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is reportedly cutting short her trip to Indonesia and returning home due to the political chaos that is ensuing, according to The Guardian.

Meanwhile, amid the war in Ukraine, Moscow has stated it hopes that "more professional people" would come to power in the UK.


The PM has come under the fire due to his handling of ethical scandals, including the appointment of Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip, despite Johnson belatedly admitted to knowing that Pincher had history of sexual misconduct.

The resignation will also come in the wake of the partygate scandal – that involved organising COVID law-breaking parties in Downing Street.

Nadhim Zahawi's Damning Letter

On Thursday, Nadhim Zahawi, the newly appointed Iraqi-origin minister seen as a frontrunner to replace Johnson in 10 Downing Street, wrote a letter which openly questioned his Johnson's authority and demanded his exit. While not officially resigning from his new Cabinet post, the 55-year-old minister said the time was up for Johnson.

"Prime minister, you know in your heart what the right thing to do is, and go now," he signed off.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, a group of Cabinet ministers including Home Secretary Priti Patel, newly appointed Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi and Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart visited Johnson, urging him to quit.

In June this year, Johnson had successfully survived a trust vote by winning the backing of 211 out of 359 Conservative lawmakers.


Spate of Resignations

Soon after Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid exited the United Kingdom Cabinet, five more ministers announced their resignations from the British government on Wednesday.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister John Glen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice Victoria Atkins, Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Department of Business, Felicity Buchan, British Minister for Children and Families Will Quince, and a lawmaker belonging to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party, Laura Trott, resigned from the British government on Wednesday.

The same day, the PM fired Michael Gove, Housing and Communities Secretary, after he urged Johnson to resign as PM.

After Gove was sacked, Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart became the third Cabinet minister to resign from the PM’s government.

By Wednesday evening, 38 ministers had quit in total, mostly from more junior positions outside the Cabinet.

On Thursday, Rebecca Pow resigned as environment minister. The UK education minister and the UK Northern Ireland Secretary also submitted their resignations on the same day.

Despite the flurry of resignations, Johnson on Wednesday vowed to stay in power.


Ministers Willing to Return to Govt Only if Johnson Quits PM Post

Peter Walker, a correspondent for The Guardian, wrote on Twitter, "One of the (many) resigned ministers tells me they would happily go back to their post to keep government going - but only if Johnson is no longer the PM. His desire to stay on as caretaker could become another impasse."

Dominic Cummings, who formerly served as Chief Adviser to Johnson tweeted that the prime minister should be evicted today or he will cause a "carnage."

Former schools minister from the Conservative Party, Nick Gibb, tweeted that the "PM must resign his office."


Johnson Appoints Replacement Cabinet

Boris Johnson has reportedly appointed a full replacement Cabinet, according to The Guardian and the BBC.

Greg Clark is the new levelling up secretary and has replaced Michael Gove, who was fired last night for asking the PM to resign.

Kit Malthouse has reportedly been appointed chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster.

Additionally, James Cleverly has been appointed as the new education secretary, replacing Michelle Donelan, who resigned on Thursday after only being appointed to the post on Tuesday evening due to Nadhim Zahawi's elevation to the post of chancellor.

Downing Street has confirmed that Shailesh Vara has been made Northern Ireland Secretary.

(With inputs from The Guardian, BBC, and PTI.)

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Topics:  United Kingdom   Boris Johnson 

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