Boris Johnson agrees to step down and remain UK Prime Minister until a new leader is elected
On Thursday, embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally agreed to step down as leader of the Conservative Party, triggering a leadership election for a new Tory leader who will become the new prime minister, according to reports from Downing Street.
Johnson, 58, will remain in charge at 10 Downing Street until the process of electing a new leader is completed by the time of the Conservative Party conference, due in October. He is expected to formally announce his resignation and address the nation later Thursday.
The move came after days of great drama and a steady stream of resignations from his cabinet since Tuesday and just minutes after his newly appointed chancellor to replace Rishi Sunak wrote a public letter calling on him to “leave now”.
Nadhim Zahawi, the Iraqi-born minister seen as a favorite to replace Johnson at 10 Downing Street, wrote a damning letter that openly questioned his boss’ authority and demanded his exit.
Without formally resigning from his new cabinet post, the 55-year-old minister said the time had come for Johnson.
“Prime Minister, you know in your heart what is the right thing to do, and leave now,” he concluded.
His request came following more than 50 resignations since Johnson’s apology on Tuesday, after days of changing messages from Downing Street regarding the hiring and management of the now-suspended Chris Pincher, who stepped down as whip Deputy Chief Discipline of the Conservative Party. week after admitting misbehavior while intoxicated.
It follows the partygate scandal of parties breaking the COVID law in Downing Street, which culminated in a vote of no confidence last month that Johnson all but survived.
His resignation will now spark a fierce leadership battle within the Conservative Party. The 1922 Committee was tasked with setting the timetable for a Conservative leadership race.
To enter the race, a Conservative MP must be nominated by eight colleagues. If more than two MPs run and get enough nominations to run for the leadership, a series of secret ballots are held to narrow them down.