LONDON: Boris Johnson will announce his resignation as British prime minister on Thursday after he was dumped by ministers and his Conservative Party MPs who said he was no longer fit to rule.
As ministers, including two secretaries of state, continued to leave the government on Thursday, an isolated and powerless Johnson was ready to bow to the inevitable and announced he was stepping down later, a source said.
His Downing Street office said Johnson would make a statement to the nation later.
After battling for several days for his job, Johnson was let down by all but the latest in a series of scandals after a handful of colleagues scuttled the desire to support him.
“His resignation was inevitable,” Conservative Party vice-president Justin Tomlinson said on Twitter. “As a party we must unite quickly and focus on what matters. These are serious times on many fronts.”
The Conservatives must now choose a new leader, a process that could take weeks or months. It was unclear whether Johnson would remain in a caretaker role while the man who would be the new prime minister was chosen.
Many said he should leave immediately and be handed over to his deputy, Dominic Raab.
Conservative parliamentary deputy Nick Gibb said: “Along with resigning as party leader, the PM must resign from his position.” “Having lost so many ministers, he has lost the confidence and authority he needed to continue.”
The crisis comes as Britons are facing some of the toughest pressure on finances in decades, with rising inflation, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economy projected to be the weakest among major nations other than Russia in 2023 .
It also follows years of internal division sparked by the narrow 2016 vote to leave the European Union, and threats to the makeup of the United Kingdom with calls for another Scottish independence referendum, the second in a decade.
Support for Johnson evaporated during one of the most turbulent 24 hours in recent British political history, symbolizing that the finance minister, Nadim Zhawi, who was only appointed to his position on Tuesday, forced his boss to resign. called upon.
Jahavi and other cabinet ministers went to Downing Street on Wednesday evening, accompanied by a senior representative of lawmakers who were not in government, to tell Johnson the game was over.
Initially, Johnson refused to leave and seemed prepared to sack Michael Gove – a member of his top ministerial team, who was the first to tell him he needed to resign – as his authority. to reinstall.
An aide told the Sun newspaper that party rebels would “have to dip their hands in blood” to get rid of Johnson.
But as several resignations came in on Thursday morning, it became clear that his position was untenable.
“This is not sustainable and will only get worse: for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly for the entire country,” Jahavi said on Twitter. “You should do the right thing and go now.”
Some of those in office, including Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, said they were doing so only because they had an obligation to keep the country safe.
There were so many resignations from ministerial posts that the government was facing paralysis and no one was ready to accept the vacant posts.
“Now it is our duty to ensure that the people of this country have a functioning government. This is now more true than ever,” Michael Ellis, a minister in the Cabinet Office department that oversees the running of the government, told parliament.
Enthusiastic Johnson came to power nearly three years ago, promising to deliver Brexit and save it from bitter wrangling that followed the 2016 referendum.
Since then, some conservatives have enthusiastically supported the former journalist and mayor of London, while others have supported him despite reservations because he was able to appeal to sections of the electorate who generally rejected his party.
It was born in the December 2019 election. But his administration’s belligerent and often chaotic approach and a series of scandals eroded the goodwill of many of his lawmakers, while opinion polls show he is no longer popular with the public at large.
Crisis recently erupted when legislator Chris Pincher, who held a government role involved in pastoral care, was forced to leave on charges of groping men at a private member’s club.
Johnson had to apologize after it emerged that he had been told that Pincher had been the subject of previous complaints of sexual misconduct before he was hired. The Prime Minister said that he had forgotten.
This was followed by months of scandals and misdemeanors, including a damning report at boozy parties at his Downing Street residence and office that broke COVID-19 lockdown rules and he was arrested by police at a gathering for his 56th birthday. fined.
There have also been policy U-turns, the unfortunate defense of a legislator breaking lobbying rules, and criticism that he has not done enough to tackle inflation, as many Britons struggle to cope with rising fuel and food prices.
Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer said Johnson’s resignation was good news for Britain.
“But it should have happened a long time ago,” he said. “He was always unsuitable for office. He is responsible for lies, scams and frauds on an industrial scale.