Boris Johnson to resign as PM

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Boris Johnson to resign as PM

After an unprecedented exodus of ministers from government, Downing Street confirms 'The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today.'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference following a special meeting of Nato leaders in Brussels on 24 March, 2022 (PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference following a special meeting of Nato leaders in Brussels on 24 March, 2022 (PA)

Boris Johnson is to resign as Prime Minister today.

The decision came after the unprecedented exodus of ministers from his government over the past two days continued on Thursday.

New chancellor Nadhim Zahawi was amongst those urging the PM to quit.

In a letter Zahawi wrote:”Prime Minister: this is not sustainable and it will only get worse: for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly of all the country. You must do the right thing and go now.”

By Thursday there had been 59 resignations from government, including Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and Michelle Donelan, the Education Secretary.

Attorney General Suella Braverman – who has previously spoken of enjoying Friday night dinners with her Jewish husband’s family – used an appearance on Robert Peston’s ITV show to announce her own leadership bid.

It emerged that Defence Minister Ben Wallace and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary remained in their posts only down to the need for ministers to be in place in situations of emergency.

Robert Halfon, the Jewish MP for Harlow, was amongst those telling broadcasters that the Johnson government ”isn’t working for millions of people up and down the country.”

Downing Street issued a statement saying: “The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today.”

In the Commons, Michael Ellis, the Minister for Cabinet Office, later confirmed to MPs that a statement from the PM was “imminent.”

He attempted to reassure the House that the business of government “would continue to function.”

Johnson is expected to deliver his resignation speech from No 10 before lunchtime.

The PM agreed to resign, but is said to want to remain as PM over the summer until a new leader is in place in time for the Tory Party’s annual conference in October.

This position was described as “unsustainable” by some Tories, and by opposition parties who called for Johnson to stand down immediately.

Some called for a caretaker PM, possibly Dominic Raab, to be put in place.

The Tory Party now faces a leadership contest, which will have to play out over the summer recess.

An initial lengthy list of names, will be whittled down to two or three possible contenders for the party leader’s role.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said:”“It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister. But it should have happened long ago.

“He was always unfit for office.”

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