In response to demands from members of his Conservative Party and ministerial colleagues, Boris Johnson announced on Thursday that he was resigning as prime minister of Britain.
At the door of Number 10 Downing Street, Johnson declared that the selection process for the future leader would start right away. “And today I have appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place.”
After battling for his position for days, Johnson had just a small group of supporters left after the most recent in a string of scandals caused them to lose incentive to help him.
Through some of the most intense 24 hours in modern British political history, support for Johnson had all but vanished. This was set in stone when Nadhim Zahawi, the finance minister, who had only taken office on Tuesday, called on Boris to step down.
The Pincher Sexual Assault Allegations
This week, there were many resignations from the government in response to claims made by a high-ranking ex-civil servant that Johnson’s office misled the public about past allegations of sexual harassment made against MP Christopher Pincher.
At first, Johnson’s office said that the prime minister was not aware of any specific prior accusations made against Pincher. However, Simon McDonald, a senior former civil servant, claimed in a letter on Monday that he had looked into the claims in 2019 and found them to be true.
The title “Partygate” was created to describe a scandal involving parties that were conducted in government buildings, including Johnson’s own Downing Street office, and that were later determined to have broken rigorous COVID-19 lockdown regulations. When it was discovered that staff members had partied in Downing Street on the eve of Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, Johnson was compelled to apologise to the queen and was fined by the police for attending a birthday party.
Numerous Sexual Misconduct Cases
Numerous scandals involving MPs accused of sexual misconduct, including two that resulted in resignations from lawmakers, have adversely affected Johnson’s Conservatives. The Conservatives fell short in both of the last month’s special elections held to replace them.
Imran Ahmad Khan, a conservative legislator, resigned after being found guilty of abusing a 15-year-old child sexually. Another Conservative politician, Neil Parish, resigned after acknowledging that, in “a moment of madness,” he had twice browsed porn on his phone in the House of Commons.
Britain’s electoral commission fined the Conservatives 17,800 pounds for failing to adequately disclose a donation used to pay for Johnson’s Downing Street apartment renovation, which was overseen by a celebrity designer and sported gold wallpaper.
Later, Johnson’s ethics advisor criticised the prime minister for keeping some texts from the donor a secret. He came to the conclusion, nonetheless, that Johnson had not fabricated the texts on purpose.