Boris Johnson resigns as PM but clings on to power. Here’s what going on in UK politics | 10 points

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned from his post yesterday within three years of walking into 10 Downing Street after a record number of resignations from his ministers.

Now, the race for a new leader will begin as soon as Johnson stands down as the PM and as the leader of the Conservative party (also known as Tory), according to Reuters.

While Boris Johnson has resigned, he is clinging on to power and is resisting stepping down immediately.

Here’s all that happened and going on in UK politics:

1. Johnson’s leadership has been entangled in months of turmoil. Last month he survived a vote of confidence among Conservative MPs but the prime minister’s undoing was ultimately prompted by the scandal surrounding one of their number.

2. Two of Britain’s most senior Cabinet ministers, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, resigned within minutes of each other after a day in which the prime minister was forced to acknowledge he had to change his story on the way he handled allegations of sexual misconduct by a senior member of his government.

3. The latest scandal saw Johnson hit by allegations after he failed to come clean about a lawmaker who was appointed to a senior position despite claims of sexual misconduct.
Johnson has faced pressure to explain what he knew about previous misconduct allegations against lawmaker Chris Pincher, who resigned as deputy chief whip Thursday amid complaints that he groped two men at a private club.

4. Boris Johnson on Wednesday fired senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove, reportedly told him that it was time for him to quit. Gove had earlier told the prime minister in a face-to-face meeting that he believed his position was unsustainable, given the number of MPs who had turned against him. In the wake of Gove’s sacking, Johnson’s allies reportedly described him as a “snake”.

5. While many have cited Johnson’s lack of integrity and honesty as a key reason for turning against him, he gave a different explanation for why so many of his own lawmakers – including over 50 members of his government – revolted.

6. He did not apologise for the scandals that eventually ended his premiership, from revelations of boozy partying in his office during COVID-19 lockdowns and the handling of sexual abuse complaints in the party.

7. UK PM Boris Johnson resigned but resists stepping down immediately. The PM wants to remain in power until a successor is found.

8. During his resignation speech, Boris said, “As we’ve seen, a Westminster of a herd instinct is powerful; when the herd moves, it moves. My friends, in politics no one is remotely indispensable.”

9. Boris Johnson is the prime minister of the UK for now, but his resignation triggers a contest to replace him as head of his party. Whoever wins will become both prime minister and party leader, without the need for a national election.

10. If there are more than two MPs in the race, Conservative MPs will bring down the number to two for the final vote. Whoever wins this contest becomes the leader of the party and takes the position of the PM after the Queen invites him or her to form the government.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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