Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

UK: UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘to resign’ after losing party’s support

The 58-year-old Conservative became prime minister in 2019 but has suffered a series of scandals.

Boris Johnson : UK Prime Minister ohnson looks down at the podium as he attends a press conference [File: Justin Tallis/Pool/AFP]

Boris Johnson, the prime minister who oversaw the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union and his country’s struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, has agreed to resign having lost the support of top cabinet ministers, according to British media.

In recent days, the 58-year-old had faced a huge internal revolt in his Conservative Party for appointing a politician accused of sexual assault as an MP.

He has also been heavily criticised for breaking lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, the chancellor and the health minister, quit citing the government’s lack of “integrity” and “competence”.

That set off a series of resignations, with several other top ministers either quitting or calling on Johnson to resign.

British media said Johnson is expected to stay on as prime minister until October.

He is expected to address the public later on Thursday.

‘Good news’

Keir Starmer, the leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour party, said Johnson’s expected departure was “good news”, but just changing the leader of the Conservative party was not enough.

“We need a proper change of government,” he said.

Chris Wilkins, a former strategy director and chief speech-writer for UK’s Former Prime Minister Theresa May, told Al Jazeera that it would wrong of Johnson to stay on until October as a caretaker prime minister.

“He needs to step aside now. There needs to be a new caretaker prime minister to come in, the people who have resigned given their roles back whilst the leadership contest takes place,” he said.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon also said Johnson should not be allowed to stay in the job temporarily if he announces his resignation, and said a general election would be in the country’s interest.

“It is quite incredible to suggest that he will remain as prime minister for another three to four months,” Sturgeon said in a televised statement.

Asked about a general election, she said she thought holding one would be “in the interests of the UK as a whole right now”, but that she thought that outcome was unlikely.

Johnson had been clinging on to power despite a wave of more than 50 government resignations.

But Thursday’s departure of education minister Michelle Donelan and a plea to quit from finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, only in their jobs for two days, appeared to tip the balance.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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