British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has agreed to step down following a series of scandals that led to massive resignations of officials from his government.
Boris Johnson was on Thursday forced to concede defeat after two more members of his Cabinet quit and one of his closest allies, Treasury Chief Nadhim Zahawi, publicly told him to resign for the good of the country.
In a statement delivered outside Number 10 Downing Street on Thursday, Johnson announced his resignation, saying that it was clear the Conservative Party needed a new leader but it was sad he was stepping down “from the best job in the whole world.”
The Prime Minister who said he would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is chosen had clung to power for two days, defiantly telling lawmakers on Wednesday that he had a “colossal mandate” from voters and intended to get on with the business of government.
“The reason I have fought so hard is because I felt it was my duty… I am immensely proud of my achievements.” he said.
The British prime minister has been involved in several scandals with the latest being his handling of the case against Chris Pincher, a lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct. The deputy chief whip stepped down on 30 July after allegations that he groped two male colleagues at a London club in an inebriated state. Over the weekend, other sexual harassment allegations against Pincher emerged.
They also include “Partygate”, which refers to a scandal over parties held in government, including in Johnson’s own Downing Street office, during strict COVID-19 lockdown rules. Johnson was fined for attending a birthday party and apologised to the Queen, who sat alone during her husband, Prince Philip’s funeral, per the restrictions at the time.
Johnson is also faced with another scandal folowing the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, which was led by a celebrity designer and including gold wallpaper. Britain’s electoral commission later fined the Conservatives 17,800 pounds for failing to accurately report a donation to pay for it.
Johnson’s ethics adviser criticised him for failing to disclose some messages exchanged with the donor, but concluded that Johnson had not intentionally lied.
His resignation will trigger an internal election to pick a new leader of the Conservative Party, who will also be the next prime minister.