UK PM Boris Johnson resigns
London, July 07: Scandal-hit Boris Johnson on Thursday announced his resignation as British prime minister, saying he was sad to give up the best job in the world. The decision to step down comes after over 50 ministers and aides, including three 3 cabinet ministers have quit the government since late Tuesday.
Addressing the nation, Jonhson said he will serve as the PM until a new leader is appointed and added that he was immensely proud of his achievements.
"I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world," Johnson said. He blamed the "herd insitinct" of his party as he delivered his resignation speech on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street.
"It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new Prime Minister," he said.
"I have agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week and I have today appointed a Cabinet to serve as I will until a new leader is in place," he said.
The outgoing leader reiterated he had been given an "incredible mandate" at the 2019 general election, which was "the reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person".
"I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019," he said. Referring to the high drama of the last few days, Johnson said he had tried to persuade his colleagues that it would be "eccentric" to change governments with such a "vast mandate" and when the Tories are only a "handful of points" behind in the polls and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.
He added: "I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself. "As we have seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves and my friends in politics no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times."
Boris Johnson's time as prime minister was marred by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a steady stream of ethics allegations, from alcohol-fueled government parties that broke lockdown rules to how he handled a sexual misconduct scandal involving a senior party lawmaker.