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'Good News for UK': Labour, Tories React to PM Boris Johnson's Decision To Quit

A spokesperson from Downing Street had said that Johnson would publicly announce his resignation on Thursday.

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As Boris Johnson decided to step down as leader of the Conservative Party on Thursday, 7 July, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that the prime minister has made "the right decision." Several members of Johnson's Conservative Party reacted to the PM's announcement.

Taking to Twitter, Truss said that the government under Johnson's leadership had many achievements, such as "delivering Brexit, vaccines and backing Ukraine."

Home Secretary Priti Patel also released a stetement and said that she is concentrating on the job at hand and will "continue to lead this Great Office of State, to protect our national security, and keep the citizens of our country safe."

"I will continue to work closely with colleagues across Government and our partners and agencies to ensure these important responsibilities are upheld," Patel added.

Meanwhile, MPs from the Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer reacted to Johnson's decision, which comes after months of tumult.

Calling it "good news for the country," Starmer said that Johnson was "always unfit for office." He also called for a change of government, instead of merely the Tory leadership.

"The Conservatives have overseen 12 years of economic stagnation, declining public services, and empty promises. We don't need to change the Tory at the top – we need a proper change of government. We need a fresh start for Britain," the Labour Party leader said.

A spokesperson from Downing Street had said that Johnson would publicly announce his resignation on Thursday, as per BBC. This comes after a spate of resignations from his Cabinet over the last three days.

However, he may continue as the prime minister until autumn, after which the Tories would elect a new leader to assume the top post.
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Dozens of Labour Party MPs shared Starmer's statement on their social media profiles.

One of them, Anneliese Dodds, called for the removal of Conservatives from power.

"12 years of economic stagnation 12 years of declining public services 12 years of empty promises 12 years of the Conservatives. We need a fresh start for Britain," she wrote on Twitter.

The Labour Party's Zarah Sultana, on the other hand, slammed Johnson for his controversial comments on Muslim women.

"Today I'm thinking about the time Boris Johnson mocked Muslim women as 'bank robbers' & 'letterboxes' – sparking a 375% rise in Islamophobic incidents – & much of the political class shrugged their shoulders & let him off. Good riddance to Boris. Shame on those who enabled him," she said on Twitter.

'Apologise to Queen': Tory MP Demands

Conservative MP George Freeman said that Johnson should apologise to Queen Elizabeth, and request her to appoint a caretaker PM.

"Boris Johnson needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty & advise her to call for a Caretaker Prime Minister. To take over today so that Ministers can get back to work & we can choose a new Conservative Leader to try & repair the damage & rebuild trust," he said.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, said that there was finally a "sense of relief" with Johnson's resignation, but slammed the leader for wanting to continue till autumn.

"There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the last few days (indeed months) will come to an end, though notion of Boris Johnson staying on as PM until autumn seems far from ideal, and surely not sustainable?" Sturgeon said.

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Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, on the other hand, called Johnson "reckless," "untrustworthy," and "unfit for office."

"Boris Johnson is being forced to resign for being unfit for office as a reckless, untrustworthy, lying, law-breaking rogue Prime Minister with no regard for rule of law or our democratic systems. He must not be allowed to stay on for 3 months after resigning and must go now," Lucas asserted.

'EU-UK Relations Suffered Hugely Because of Johnson's Brexit Decision'

Member of European Parliament (MEP) Guy Verhofstadt said that the relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union had suffered huge blows because of Johnson's leadership.

"Boris Johnson's reign ends in disgrace, just like his friend Donald Trump. The end of an era of transatlantic populism? Let's hope so. EU - UK relations suffered hugely with Johnson's choice of Brexit. Things can only get better!" he said.

India's own Prashant Bhushan also took to Twitter to bid farewell to Johnson as prime minister, saying that the latter was a good friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"So 'Bulldozer #BorisJohnson resigns. He was a good phrand of Modiji like Doland Trump," he said.
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Johnson's National Address 

During a national address, Johnson said, "It is clearly the will of the parliamentary party that there should be a new leader. I have today appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place."

"The timetable for electing the new leader of the Conservative Party - and therefore the new PM - will be announced next week," he added.

Here are some key highlights from his speech on Thursday:

  • Johnson said that he failed to persuade colleagues that changing the leader would be an "eccentric" decision.

  • "At Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, and when it moves, it moves."

  • "My friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable."

  • "We would like to hope that some day in Great Britain more professional people who can make decisions through dialogue will come to power. But at the moment there is little hope for that."

  • "Even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden."

(With inputs from BBC.)

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