Home WORLD EUROPA Boris Johnson throws in the towel and announces his resignation

Boris Johnson throws in the towel and announces his resignation


The announced departure of Mr. Johnson, in office for less than three years, kicks off this leadership race, which should take place over a few months. The exact terms will be revealed next week.

I know many people will be relieved [par ma démission] and maybe a few will also be disappointed. I want to tell you how sad I am to give up the best job in the world. »

A quote from Boris Johnson, resigning British Prime Minister

The fall of the colorful Prime Minister, made inevitable by a wave of resignations within his Cabinet, comes barely two and a half years after he led his troops to a resounding victory in the legislative elections.

A first candidate enters the race

Conservative British MP Tom Tugendhat announced on Thursday evening that he was entering the race to succeed Boris Johnson, thus opening the ball for candidates since the announcement of the Prime Minister’s resignation.

In a column published in the Daily TelegraphMr. Tugendhat, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, confirmed his intention already expressed before, explaining that he wanted to bring together a broad coalition for a new start.

Several people cheer, including Carrie Johnson, who holds her daughter in a baby carrier.

Boris Johnson’s announcement was made under the gaze of members of his close guard, but also his wife, Carrie, and their daughter, Romy.

Photo: The Canadian Press/AP/Stefan Rousseau

2019 […]: thank you for this incredible mandate, with the largest conservative majority since1987, and the largest share of the vote since1979″,”text”:”I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019 […]: thank you for this incredible mandate, with the largest conservative majority since 1987, and the largest share of the vote since 1979″}}”>I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019 […] : thank you for this incredible mandate, with the largest conservative majority since 1987, and the largest share of the vote since 1979the Prime Minister said during a brief address outside his official residence at 10 Downing Street.

The reason I fought so hard over the past few days to continue to fulfill this mandate was not just because I wanted to, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation, to continue doing what we promised in 2019. »

A quote from Boris Johnson, resigning British Prime Minister

The resounding resignation on Tuesday night of finance and health ministers Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, followed by those of dozens of other cabinet members and government officials, spelled the death knell for Mr Johnson.

On Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister was still stubbornly resisting the mounting pressure for his departure, arguing that he had to fulfill the mandate given to him by the voters. The resignations that continued, however, ended up getting the better of him.

Several of those ministers were replaced by Mr Johnson before his resignation was announced. The Prime Minister also met his new Cabinet on Thursday afternoon. At the end of the meeting, Downing Street said that Mr Johnson had made it known that he would leave to his successor the major budgetary decisions.

The pack instinct is powerful

In confirming his resignation, Boris Johnson agreed that no one is essential in politics and that the political system Darwinian was bound to designate a successor, but he could not conceal a hint of bitterness by evoking the tumult of the last few days.

I regret not having won this debate and, of course, it is painful not to be able to implement these ideas and projects myself. But as we saw in Westminster [siège du Parlement, NDLR]pack instinct is powerful, and when the pack moves, it moves. »

A quote from Boris Johnson, resigning British Prime Minister
People watch television, on which Mr Johnson appears.

In Broadstairs, Britons listened to the Prime Minister’s speech in a pub. According to a Savanta ComRes poll published on Wednesday, 72% of Britons believed that Mr Johnson should resign.

Photo: Reuters/KEVIN COOMBS

Boris Johnson’s main political legacy will be, without a doubt, to have achieved Brexit, of which he had been one of the fiercest supporters, after months of failures in the negotiations led by his predecessor, Theresa May, and to have negotiated a divorce agreement with the European Union.

However, his reign was marked by numerous scandals, in particular that of the party gateregarding the parties at 10 Downing Street which he attended, when the British were required to follow strict health rules due to COVID-19.

In this case, as in others, Mr. Johnson will often have pleaded innocence, before being forced to admit that he had indeed been at fault, even if it meant apologizing profusely, raising more and more questions. more insistent on his credibility and leadership qualities.

The latest scandal he won was part of that trend: After claiming he didn’t know a deputy whip he appointed in February was suspected of sexual misconduct, he had to backtrack and admit that he had been duly informed.

Mr Johnson survived a vote of no confidence last month, but 40% of Tory MPs refused to give him their trust. He was theoretically immune from a new vote for a year, but the Conservative committee responsible for party rules was under pressure to organize a second at short notice.

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s departure, which had been rumored by the BBC, the leader of the Labor opposition, Keir Starmer, had said that he saw a good news.

But we don’t need a change in the leadership of the Tories. We need a real change of governmenthe argued, threatening to hold a vote of no confidence in the House if Mr Johnson remained in office. He must go completelyhe insisted.

Journalists, cameramen and photographers stand in an area reserved for them in front of the Prime Minister's residence.

The journalistic deployment in front of 10 Downing Street was impressive on Thursday morning.


Which successor for Johnson?

The British media are also full of remarks from Conservative MPs who doubt Mr. Johnson’s ability to lead the Conservative troops for months to come in the House of Commons and who would have preferred an interim leader to be appointed.

Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major notably expressed doubts about the merits of acting in this way, in a letter which he made public. He argues that it would be misguided and possibly unsustainable that Mr Johnson remains head of government for a period that could last three months.

For the well-being of the country, Mr Johnson should not stay in Downing Street – while unable to command the confidence of the House of Commons – longer than necessary to ensure a smooth transition. »

A quote from John Major, former British Prime Minister

According to a YouGov poll, 77% of Britons think Boris Johnson was right to step down and 56% want someone else to take over as interim.

A man sets up an easel on which odds can be read in front of the British parliament.

A man had set up an easel near Parliament on Wednesday on which we can read odds for Boris Johnson’s stay in power over the next few years, and for the chances of different Tories succeeding him.

Photo: The Canadian Press/PA/AP/Stefan Rousseau

Until further notice, Conservative Party rules call for a two-stage leadership race, in a process that would normally conclude in the fall.

It is first up to the members of the caucus to select the two candidates who will be able to fight for the post after a series of eliminatory ballots. Party members must then make their choice in a postal vote.

So far, only the Attorney General for England and Wales, Suella Braverman, has openly declared her intention to run for the party leadership.

Suella Braverman waves her hand.

Attorney General for England and Wales, Suella Braverman, on her arrival at 10 Downing Street on Thursday afternoon for a meeting of the new Johnson Cabinet. Ms Braverman is the only candidate to have declared her intention to run for the Conservative Party leadership.

Photo: The Canadian Press/AP/Frank Augstein

Resigning ministers Shiri Sunak and Savid Javid are also among the favourites, as are Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defense Minister Ben Wallace and former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, relegated to the benches of backbench after finishing second in the leadership race won by Mr Johnson.

According to British media, Michael Gove, former Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities fired on Wednesday by Mr. Johnson, will not be in the race, as will Dominic Raab, Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister. Some Tory MPs want Mr. Raab to act as caretaker leader pending the election of a new leader.

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