After less than three years in Number 10, Boris Johnson has announced his resignation as prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Speaking from Downing Street on Thursday, July 7, he expressed his gratitude to the numerous voters and said that he had battled so hard to hold onto Number 10 because “I thought it was my job, my responsibility, and my obligation to you.”
Aside from the fact that “no one in politics is really indispensable,” Mr. Johnson said it was “sad not to see it through.”
He claimed he had made an effort to convince his cabinet that replacing the prime minister at this time would be “eccentric,” but “I regret not to have been successful in those arguments.”
The selection process will start right away, according to Mr. Johnson, and a timeline would be announced the following week.
The statement comes after months of political unrest and a slew of scandals rocked his administration, leading to the resignations of key Conservative leaders, including the chancellor and health minister.
Ministers expressed their displeasure with Boris Johnson and his self-inflicted scandals, which were exacerbated by his evasions, in their resignation letters and speeches to the House of Commons, with one former official declaring “enough is enough.”
Boris Johnson, who had promised to maintain his position of authority, was under fire for his changing statements regarding Chris Pincher, a politician who resigned from his position as government whip on June 30 as a result of sexual misconduct allegations.
The Conservative MP Pincher quit last Thursday, according to the Sun tabloid, following a wild night at the Carlton private members club where he is accused of groping two men and grabbing at least one of them in the groin.
Pincher resigned, claiming that while intoxicated, he had disgraced both himself and others. After Pincher resigned, the government declared that no further action would be taken against him and that he would keep his position as an MP because he had admitted to his wrongdoing. According to the BBC, this infuriated the Conservative MPs.
This wasn’t the first time Pincher, who Johnson promoted to the position of authority as the party’s deputy chief whip, had been accused of sexual misconduct.
According to reports, Johnson was not only informed about a formal complaint against Pincher in 2019–20 but was also personally briefed on it, contrary to early statements that the PM was unaware of allegations of misbehavior against Pincher before selecting him as deputy chief whip.
On Tuesday, Johnson acknowledged learning of the allegation in 2019 and expressed regret for having chosen Pincher for the government position.
Johnson has dealt with a slew of scandals, the most recent of which is the Pincher affair. After receiving criticism for how he handled the COVID-19 pandemic, he was implicated in the “Partygate” affair, which resulted from meetings and parties held at Downing Street while the pandemic lockdowns were in effect.