The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has announced he is stepping down. Johnson, who has been plagued by many political scandals lately, announced his resignation on July 7, outside Number 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson, who is credited with driving Brexit through and leading the Conservative Party to a landslide historic victory in the 2019 elections, has seen his popularity chip away slowly after a slew of political scandals. The scandals include what is known a ‘Partygate’, the secret parties that were held by his staff in official quarters during the Covid-19 pandemic, while the rest of the UK was under strict lockdown.
The past few days have been dizzying for the Prime Minister embroiled in a fresh scandal concerning a decision to promote a lawmaker known to be the subject of a complaint of sexual harassment. This led to mass cabinet resignations.
In his resignation speech, Johnson indicated he will stick around as Prime Minister until a new leader is selected, a process that could go on for the next few months. Some in his Conservative Party insist on Johnson leaving immediately, citing that he is too much of a liability to the party.
“The reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue … was not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019,” Johnson said outside of No. 10 Downing Street.
In his brief resignation remarks, Johnson cited the historic 2019election victory; delivering on Brexit; the UK’s navigation of the pandemic, including its vaccine rollout and the UK’s support for Ukraine against Russia among the achievements of his tenure. He promised continued support for Ukraine under his replacement.
“I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world,” Johnson added. “But them’s the breaks.”
Boris Johnson, 58, is known to have a knack for wiggling out of very tight spots as a politician. He is a former London mayor, a colourful politician with an unruly mane that makes him easily recognizable. Johnson rose to power in 2019 following a referendum approved by voters three years earlier that called for the UK to leave the European Union. His resignation caps a remarkable political career filled with highs, lows and almost too many scandals to count.