As a result of the latest ethics scandal surrounding his leadership, approximately 50 senior members of the British Parliament resigned from the government on Thursday, forcing Boris Johnson to finally succumb to political reality and resign.

A defiant Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday that he had a “colossal mandate” from voters and intended to get on with the business of government after he had clung to power for the previous two days.

A few hours after the resignations of two more members of the Cabinet, Treasury Chief Nadhim Zahawi publicly urged him to step down for the good of the country. He was forced into conceding defeat on Thursday morning.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

However, Johnson’s departure date was not immediately known.

To replace him, the Conservative Party will hold an internal election to choose a new leader, who will also serve as prime minister. Over the course of the summer, it is expected that this will happen.

In a statement, Johnson stated that he intends to serve out the remainder of his term. Critics say he shouldn’t be allowed to stay even as caretaker prime minister if he makes such a move.

George Freeman, who resigned as science minister on Thursday, said in a tweet that the Prime Minister “has finally done the decent thing he needs to hand in the seals of office, apologize to Her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II), allow her to appoint a Caretaker under whom Ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader.”

Despite allegations that he was too close to party donors, that he shielded supporters from bullying and corruption allegations, and that he misled Parliament about government office parties that violated pandemic lockdown rules, Johnson, 58, managed to stay in power for almost three years now.

Recent reports that Johnson was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct made this one scandal too many for him to handle. He was forced out of office as soon as possible.

Chris Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip after two men accused him of groping them at a private club. That sparked a flurry of news stories detailing allegations against Pincher in the past.

With shifting explanations about what he knew and when he knew it, Johnson tried to fend off criticism, but that only exacerbated concerns that the prime minister couldn’t be relied upon.


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