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Prime Minister Boris Johnson agrees to resign after scandals, record resignations

Scandal-hit British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will step down on Thursday, his spokesman confirmed to The Post.

“The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today,” a spokesman said.

Johnson, who took office in 2019, will remain prime minister until a successor is appointed, which could be as late as the autumn if his party lets him.

It was not yet clear on Thursday who would replace him as prime minister.

UK Labor leader Keir Starmer hailed the news of Johnson’s imminent resignation on Twitter, writing: “We need a fresh start for Britain.”

“It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister. But it should have happened a long time ago. He was always unfit for office.” Starmer said in a statement.

More than 50 ministers have left the government in less than 48 hours, seven of whom submitted their letters of resignation on Thursday morning, saying Johnson was unable to take charge after a series of scandals.

It is the highest number of resignations a British leader has ever received while holding power.

It's not immediately clear whether Boris Johnson would remain in office while the Conservative Party elects a new leader.
It’s not immediately clear whether Boris Johnson would remain in office while the Conservative Party elects a new leader.
Getty Images

Desperate pleas from some of his closest allies for the scandal-hit leader to step down have flooded Downing Street for the past 48 hours.

Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, welcomed the news on Twitter.

she tweeted“There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of recent days (months actually) is about to come to an end, although the notion of Boris Johnson remaining as Prime Minister until the autumn seems far from ideal and certainly unsustainable?

“Boris Johnson was always obviously unfit to be Prime Minister and the Tories should never have elected him leader or kept him in office for as long as they did. But the problems go much deeper than an individual. The Westminster system is broken.”

“Finally, my differences with Boris Johnson are varied and deep. But leadership is difficult and comes with a lot of pressures, so on a personal level I wish him and his family well,” she added.

Britain’s Education Secretary Michelle Donelan resigned from government on Thursday less than 48 hours after being appointed, saying it was the only way to force Johnson to resign.

Donelan was the last Cabinet minister to resign after the resignations of Ministers for Security, Finance, Health, Northern Ireland and Wales.

“I see no way that you can continue in your post, but without a formal mechanism to remove you, it seems the only way that that is…possible is for those of us who remain in Cabinet to do your Force hand,” Donelan said wrote in her resignation letter.

“You have put us in an impossible situation … as someone who values ​​integrity above all else, I have no choice.”

Security Secretary Damian Hinds resigned just an hour before Donelan.

“It shouldn’t require the resignation of dozens of colleagues, but for our country and for confidence in our democracy, we need leadership change,” said Hinds, who also served as education secretary in the cabinet under former Prime Minister Theresa May. wrote in his resignation Letter to the Prime Minister.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak resigned, saying he could no longer support Johnson after a spate of ethics scandals.
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, resigned, saying he could no longer support Johnson after a spate of ethics scandals.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Just hours earlier, Brandon Lewis had resigned as Secretary of Northern Ireland.

“I cannot sacrifice my personal integrity to defend things as they are now,” Lewis said wrote in his letter. It is clear that our party, fellow MPs, volunteers and the whole country deserve better.”

Britain’s new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi on Thursday urged Johnson to step down, less than 48 hours after the prime minister promoted him.

Zahawi said the crisis engulfing the government was only getting worse.

“This is unsustainable and it will only get worse for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly for the whole country,” Zahawi said wrote on Twitter. “You have to do the right thing and go now.”

“The country deserves a government that is not only stable but also acts with integrity. Prime Minister, you know in your heart what is right and now go.”

When confronted by Cabinet colleagues who told the Prime Minister to resign on Wednesday night, Johnson shrugged off comments and their request fell on deaf ears.

In response, Johnson fired one of his most effective ministers, Michael Gove.

Johnson narrowly survived a first vote last month, when staff parties were held at Downing Street at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, and was safe from legal challenges for another year under current rules.

He remained confident he would not resign during Wednesday’s weekly ritual of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.

“The job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances, when you’ve been given a colossal mandate, is to keep going,” Johnson said, before serenading him with “Go!” Walk! Go!” by the opposition Labor Party.

“And I will do that,” added the Prime Minister. “We will go ahead and fulfill our mandate and win more general elections.”

With mail wires

https://nypost.com/2022/07/07/prime-minister-boris-johnson-agrees-to-step-down-uk-media-says/ Prime Minister Boris Johnson agrees to resign after scandals, record resignations

JACLYN DIAZ

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