Johnson clung to power to the end. But now the conservative politician has apparently reached the end of his term. The resignation is expected today.
According to media reports, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to announce his resignation. As the seat of government at 10 Downing Street explained, the scandal-ridden prime minister wanted to address the nation on Thursday. This was seen as a clear indication of Johnson’s forthcoming resignation as leader of the British Conservative Party. At the latest after the election of a successor, he would also be rid of the office of prime minister.
Johnson had come under massive pressure in the past few days. Several cabinet members and dozens of parliamentary government officials resigned from their posts. Most recently, Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed to office on Tuesday, even called on him to resign.
Labor leader Keir Starmer welcomed Johnson’s expected resignation. That’s “good news,” Starmer said, according to the British news agency PA. He added: “But it should have happened a long time ago.”
On Wednesday evening, a close Johnson confidant announced that the prime minister would not give up. “The Prime Minister is in an optimistic mood and will fight on,” Johnson’s parliamentary assistant James Duddridge told Sky News. Johnson got the mandate of the voters in the last general election and “so much to do for the country”. But holding on to power hardly seems possible in view of the massive headwind. On Thursday, the BBC reported, citing government circles, of Johnson’s impending resignation announcement.
If necessary, British media reported, Johnson should be removed from office by a vote of no confidence. The Tory politician narrowly survived a no-confidence vote in his group just a month ago. Another no-confidence vote would have required a change in the internal party rules. It was initially expected that Johnson would take a chance. But on Thursday the pressure was apparently too great.
Massive criticism for illegal lockdown parties
The most recent government crisis in Westminster was triggered by an affair involving Johnson’s party colleague Chris Pincher, who is accused of sexual harassment. It was previously revealed that Johnson knew about the allegations against Pincher before he promoted him to a key faction position. His spokesman had previously denied this several times.
The affair now turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Johnson has been under massive criticism for months for illegal lockdown parties during the pandemic at Downing Street, the seat of government. He himself received a police warrant for attending one of the illegal gatherings, making him the first British head of government to have committed a criminal offense while in office. Nevertheless, he denied any wrongdoing for a long time.