UK PM Johnson set to step down amid mass exodus by cabinet
Earlier, at least 54 officials, including four ministers, bailed from Boris Johnson's government
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation later today, 10 Downing Street said, with ITV, Sky News and the Times expecting him to announce his resignation.
Earlier, at least 54 officials, including four ministers, bailed from his government. At an in-person meeting with the PM late on Wednesday, a group of government officials called for him to quit "with dignity." And yet, Johnson has said he has no intention to resign.
Below are facts about the power crisis in Great Britain compiled by TASS.
Reasons behind the crisis
- Johnson has been mired in scandal ever since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. The prime minister’s approval ratings plummeted after reports about parties at his residency amid the strictest coronavirus restrictions in 2020-2021. The premier had long rejected his awareness or involvement in the parties, however proof that he did participate emerged later.
- In the latest scandal, deputy chief whip Chris Pincher allegedly groped two male colleagues while drunk. Truth emerged later that Pincher was the subject of similar complaints earlier, but Johnson kept promoting him, even though he was aware of the facts.
The list of resignees
- Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Welsh Secretary Simon Hart and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis have become the latest cabinet members to resign.
- Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government of the UK, was dismissed by Johnson himself. Gove, who ran for the premier’s post in 2016, and had been allegedly promoted by breaking word with Johnson, who also vied for control of the cabinet, earlier urged the prime minister to resign.
- Among more than 20 cabinet resignees, there are minor officials from a number of ministries.
- This is the record number of those who resigned in the past 90 years. In the midst of the Great Depression in 1932, 11 cabinet members exited from the National Government of Ramsay McDonalds.
Threats Johnson faced
- A month ago, Johnson survived a no-confidence vote brought by his own party over a series of scandals and plummeting ratings.
- He was to be protected by a year’s immunity, yet the Tories have been discussing a change in this rule.
- Johnson would face a new no confidence vote next week, unless he quits.
- Out of the 359 members of the Tory faction, he is only supported by about 60. This is not enough to win a vote or fill all the government posts vacant now.
What’s to come
- Johnson is expected to officially announce his resignation in the next few hours.
- Even if he stands down, Johnson will continue to serve as prime minister before a new Conservative party leader to represent the majority in parliament is named.
- The Tories have to elect a new leader by October. Potentially, Johnson may run for the post, but he will hardly get enough votes.