Bad hair day for Boris Johnson, British PM to step down

Bad hair day for Boris Johnson, British PM to step down


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed to step down from the top post amid a spate of resignations from the Conservative government, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

Boris Johnson will announce his resignation as British Prime Minister later today, the BBC reported. He will also quit the post of Conservative Party leader.

More than 50 ministers have quit the UK government in less than 48 hours, saying Johnson was not fit to be in charge after a series of scandals, while dozens in his Conservative Party are in open revolt.

Johnson will stay on as prime minister till autumn, when a new Tory leader is officially appointed at the Conservative Party Conference in October this year.

After days of battling for his job, Johnson had been abandoned by all but a handful of allies. It was far cry from when Johnson, 58, rose to power in 2019 when he won a large majority, capturing votes in parts of Britain that had never supported his Conservative Party before.

Even his finance minister, Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed to his post on Wednesday, had called on his boss to resign. Immediately afterwards, newly appointed education secretary Michelle Donelan quit, saying she had “pleaded” with the PM to step aside.

Earlier, Johnson had rebuffed calls by his Cabinet to step down after it emerged that he allegedly promoted a lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct, the latest in a two-year-odd tenure marred by scandals.

CHRIS PINCHER SCANDAL

The latest scandal saw Boris Johnson hit by allegations that he failed to come clean about lawmaker Chris Pincher, who was appointed to a senior position despite claims of sexual misconduct surfacing against him in 2019.

On July 1, the UK government claimed that Johnson was unaware of the allegations against Pincher. But a spokesperson later revealed that it was not entirely true and the PM did know about the accusations. On Tuesday, Simon McDonald, the seniormost official at the UK Foreign Office between 2015 and 2020, also accused the Prime Minister of lying.

Soon, Johnson faced pressure to explain what he knew about previous misconduct allegations against lawmaker Chris Pincher, who resigned as deputy chief whip last week amid complaints that he groped two men at a private club.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid quit the government after Johnson was forced to acknowledge that he changed his story on the way he handled the allegations against Pincher, precipitating the current crisis that has gripped Johnson and the Tory government.

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