Boris Johnson Resigns…
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, resigned as the leader of the Conservative Party on Thursday, July 7th. Johnson’s resignation comes after a period of criticism from the public, numerous scandals, and mass resignations from both members of his cabinet and members of Parliament.
These resignations were by members of Johnson’s party, who publicly expressed their lack of confidence in him. His time as Prime Minister has been riddled with scandals but the nail in the coffin seems to have been his reversal of whether or not he was aware of allegations against Parliament Member Chris Pincher.
Johnson first took the position that he had not been notified or aware of Pincher’s behavior only to later acknowledge that he, in fact, was aware of the claims but believed them to have been resolved.
The resignations began on Tuesday, July 5th when the finance minister and health secretary, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, resigned within minutes of each other. What can only be described as mass resignations, reaching 60 members, by the morning of Thursday, July 7, Johnson was left with no option but to resign.
Johnson formally announced his resignation outside of his official 10 Downing Street residence. After three years at the helm of politics in the UK, he announced that the Conservative Party would begin the process of electing his successor.
While he resigned as leader of his party, he is still the Prime Minister of the UK, albeit with less power to change and enact policy. Johnson spoke about how he was sad to step down from a position he described as “the best job in the world.”
More insights on Boris Johnson’s Resignation…
Johnson made a point to say that no one is indispensable in politics. He described the fellow party members who had turned against him as a “herd”. In this resignation announcement, he thanked his family, the National Health Service, the armed forces, and the staff of the Prime Minister’s residence. “Above all, I want to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege that you have given me,” he said.
There have been calls from within political circles of the United Kingdom for Johnson to immediately step down as Prime Minister. “If the Conservative Party do not get rid of him, then Labour will act in the national interest and bring a vote of no confidence,” Opposition Labor Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said via Twitter. Starmer said Johnson could not cling to power for months and was unfit to govern the nation.
According to reports, Johnson can be replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab if he resigns immediately. In the case of Johnson waiting for a new Conservative leader to be elected, he would remain as Prime Minister for another two to three months.
Once a Conservative Party leader has resigned, a new leader has to be elected. To stand in the election, a candidate will need the support of eight Conservative Members of Parliament. As soon as all candidates have declared their ambitions to stand for election, the Conservative MP’s will hold a series of votes until only two candidates remain.
In the first stage, each candidate must get 5% of the votes to remain in the election. In the second round, 10% of the votes are required. In the rounds following, the candidate with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated. When two candidates are left, all Conservative members in the United Kingdom will vote for the winner.
Johnson’s resignation is the result of several factors, a lot of them self-inflicted. He has faced accusations of being dishonest and lacking focus. This is apparently due to Johnson’s seeming lack of philosophy and ideas.
Still on Boris Johnson’s Resignation…
A colleague accused Johnson of lacking “integrity, competence, and vision.” Inflation in the UK increased and, while that may not be Johnson’s fault, his government did not help matters by increasing the UK tax rate. “In the middle of the worst cost of living crisis for decades,” said Labor leader Starmer in April, “the government chooses to increase taxes on working people”.
Earlier this year, Johnson was fined for breaking lockdown rules by hosting a party for his birthday in June 2020 as well as hosting staff parties. He was forced to apologize for throwing alcohol-fueled parties while the rest of the UK citizens were under lockdown. These events led to the UK’s Metropolitan Police handing out 126 fines to 83 people.
The Conservative Party held a no-confidence vote in June, which Johnson barely survived. 41% of the party voted against him, which can be seen as the beginning of his official downfall.
According to party rules, Johnson will not have to face an internal challenge for 1 year after the no-confidence vote. Johnson is set to be replaced as Prime Minister once the Conservative Party, who currently holds the majority of seats in Parliament, selects a new party leader who will replace him.