On 7 July, Boris Johnson officially resigned as Prime Minister amidst a barrage of resignations by Conservative MPs who declared they could not continue their roles under the leader of the party.
Addressing the public outside Downing Street with wife, Carrie, and daughter, Romy, watching, Johnson revealed he was “sad” it has come to this and went on to thank those who voted for the party in the 2019 general election as well as his family and staff. He said: “‘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 went on to say: “Of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself, but, as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, and when the herd moves, it moves. In politics, no one is remotely indispensable.”
Johnson will remain as Prime Minister until the autumn, even though critics are calling for him to step down immediately. He also gave assurances that the UK will continue to support the atrocities happening in Ukraine. “Let me say now to the people of Ukraine that I know we in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.”
The week began with Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, prominent members of the Cabinet, sending resignation letters. Javid wrote: “I can no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this Government.” Tens of MPs followed their lead as the party began to fall apart.
Despite Johnson winning a no-confidence vote a month ago, his position became more vulnerable due to his changing claims on Chris Pincher, the politician accused of sexual misconduct. These came after the Sue Gray report, which resulted in him receiving fixed penalty notices for breaking lockdown rules with parties.
Johnson has been appointing a “unity cabinet” to run the country in the interim.
How Is a New Prime Minister Decided Following a Resignation?
Johnson revealed in his statement that he will remain as Prime Minister until a new leader is appointed, expected to be around October. A Tory leadership contest will ensue to decide who will take over.
There are two stages to the Conservative leadership election. Initially, candidates will put their own names forward with Tory MPs voting in a series of rounds in continuous ballots. The candidate with the least votes is eliminated until there are only two candidates remaining.
The second stage sees the wider Tory party members voting between the two final candidates. This could take a number of weeks and the triumphant MP will then be presented to the Queen.
In 2019, Johnson beat Jeremy Hunt by 66 percent to 34 percent.
Who Will Be the New Prime Minister?
There are a number of candidates expected to put their names in the hat. Ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and former Health Minister Sajid Javid are likely to be in the running.
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