Boris Johnson has resigned as leader of the Conservative party and as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, following an unprecedented rebellion from his own party with over 50 ministers resigning from their positions in government.
The announcement will spark a leadership contest, with Johnson expected to remain in his position until a successor is announced.
Johnson had been looking more and more embattled in recent months as his administration lurched from scandal to scandal. Already in a weakened position following revelations that he had attended parties in breach of Covid lockdown regulations, Johnson was further rocked by the resignation of two party members, one after being convicted of sexual assault charges and another after being caught watching pornography in parliament, and the subsequent defeat in both by-elections.
The Prime Minister had narrowly survived a no-confidence vote last month, but the majority within the party appeared in agreement that the former Mayor of London was on his last chance. When Johnson found himself further embroiled in scandal this week the writing was on the wall.
Johnson was once again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons when fresh allegations came to light regarding his promotion of Chris Pincher. Through the course of the week it came to light that Pincher had been promoted in spite of various allegations of sexual assault against him, one of which had been upheld.
After initially denying Johnson had any personal knowledge of the allegations against Pincher, Downing Street eventually admitted reluctantly that the Prime Minister had been aware of at least one allegation, before later appearing to accept that he had been aware of the full scope of accusations against the now-suspended politician.
The events were the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, with top ministers Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak first out of the blocks with their resignations. The floodgates then opened, with every hour bringing a new wave of resignations by cabinet ministers.
Initially insistent he was staying put, Johnson ultimately accepted his fate, and announced his intention to step down to the nation. Defiant to the end, his announcement appeared to show no acceptance of personal responsibility, instead blaming those around him for his downfall.
Early frontrunners to replace Johnson as Prime Minister include Sunak, who was the country’s finance minister before resigning, and Ben Wallace, who currently serves as Defense Minister.