Boris Johnson has thrown in the towel and will announce his resignation on Thursday morning, according to various British media. The prime minister, who hours earlier was determined to remain in office and challenge the Conservative Party, has been unable to resist the pressure. Johnson, 58, will submit his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II harassed by the mismanagement of several scandals in the ranks of his party, in which he himself has been involved. More than fifty executive positions have left his post in recent days as a protest against the attitude of the premiere British before the allegations of sexual harassment against a political ally, the Conservative MP Chris Pincher. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back Tories, almost three years after Johnson achieved one of the Conservative Party’s biggest electoral victories at the polls. Johnson, according to the newspaper TheTimes, He has asked his supporters to let him remain in office on an interim basis until the party’s autumn congress, where a new leader will be elected.
“The country needs a government that is not only stable but acts with dignity. Prime Minister, you know, in your heart, what would be the right thing to do now, which is to leave”, the newly appointed Economy Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, had written to Johnson this morning. The pirouette of the last 48 hours of this politician is the clear expression of the situation that Downing Street is experiencing. The cornered prime minister turned to him to give the impression that he was in control, and immediately both began to promise upcoming tax cuts. Hours later, Zahawi joined the delegation of ministers who called on Johnson to act with dignity and throw in the towel.
While the prime minister remained entrenched in the official residence, several members of his government and relevant conservative deputies began to prepare his candidacy for a race for the leadership of the party that is considered to have begun. Suella Braverman, the Executive’s General Counsel (Downing Street’s top legal adviser), was the first to speak clearly. The woman who prepared for Johnson the convoluted legal reports that justified the unilateral rupture of the Northern Ireland Protocol that pitted London against Brussels; the faithful ally of the prime minister who did not hesitate to praise him at the slightest occasion, announced her aspirations on the ITV network: “If there are primaries, I will present my candidacy. I love this country. My parents came here with absolutely nothing, and the UK gave them hope, security and opportunity,” said Braverman, 42, of Indian descent. She also launched to promise a tax cut, in a clear sign that this will be the rallying cry of the candidates willing to give battle.
Steve Baker, the Eurosceptic who organized the Conservative MPs’ rebellion against Theresa May, also finds himself fit for command: “I went into politics to change things,” he told Sky News, “when things have gotten complicated for the match, I have shown my leadership capacity”, he added.
Zahawi himself, but also Deputy Jeremy Hunt (who lost the primaries against Johnson), former Economy Minister Rishi Sunak, Foreign Minister Liz Truss (who has not yet said a word on this crisis), or the former Minister of Health, Sajid Javid (who delivered a devastating speech against Johnson this Wednesday in the House of Commons, to explain his resignation), would already be preparing their campaigns, and could announce them this weekend, according to The Daily Telegraph, the newspaper with a more direct line with the conservative deputies.
The revolt in the heart of the British Executive has put an end to weeks of political crisis around the Johnson government. The pincher case exploded in the hands of the leader tory a month after he passed a motion of censure for the so-called partygate, the scandal of the parties held in Downing Street during the pandemic and against the rules established to prevent contagion. Johnson overcame the ordago launched by party colleagues, but was touched, with more than 41% of the deputies against him.
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Johnson assumed the head of the British Government in July 2019 as the brand-new leader of the Conservative Party and after the resignation of the then Prime Minister, also a Conservative Theresa May, singled out among her own for not carrying out the Brexit for which they had voted. citizens in the summer of 2016. Five months after occupying Downing Street, Johnson, who had forged a brilliant career as mayor of London, swept the elections and sank the opposition, Labor, even in some of its fiefdoms. This comfortable victory has been one of the pillars that has allowed Johnson to survive in the face of the flood of scandals that have been dotting his mandate. Until now.