UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation in a speech Thursday after enduring a slate of ministerial scandals and recent high-profile resignations among the British parliament, the BBC reported.
Sixteen members of Johnson’s cabinet resigned Monday and Tuesday, including Senior Health Secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor Rishi Sunak, in a move many thought would spell Johnson’s demise. The departures came in response to Johnson’s alleged complicity in covering up sexual misconduct among Chris Pincher, the Conservative deputy chief who resigned on June 30, according to the Associated Press.
Johnson fought back, rejecting calls for a “dignified exit,” according to Reuters, but apparently it was not enough to restore faith in his ability to lead.
“In the last few days I have tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we are delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate, and when we’re actually only a handful of points behind in the polls,” Johnson said in his address. “I regret not to have been successful in those arguments, and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.”
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) July 7, 2022
He blamed his resignation on a herd instinct in Parliament.
“To that new leader, whoever he or she may be, I saw I will give you as much support,” he said. “I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them’s the breaks.”
Johnson said he had appointed a cabinet to serve alongside him until a new leader is elected on a yet unspecified timeline. (RELATED: Bibi 2.0? Israeli Parliament Votes To Dissolve, Clears The Way For Netanyahu’s Return)
He noted that many individuals voted for Johnson’s conservative party for the first time in the 2019 election, giving him a historic majority.
“Thank you for that incredible mandate,” he said to the voters.
Johnson also claimed significant accomplishments during his time in office, including Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic response, a quick vaccine development and lockdown exit, restoring power into the hands of the people and “leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.”
Johnson formally delivered his resignation address less than a month after surviving a no-confidence vote among the UK Parliament by a slim margin, with nearly half of his party voting to oust him, NPR reported in June.
Other complications to Johnson’s leadership include accusations that Johnson and his staff violated pandemic regulations several times to attend parties while the remainder of the country adhered to strict lockdown policies.
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