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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Announces Resignation after Months of Pressure

Breaking Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation in a speech from a podium on Downing Street. He is the third consecutive British prime minister to resign, following Theresa May and David Cameron. He announced plans to remain as prime minister until a successor is chosen.

“In the past few weeks, I have been trying to convince my colleagues it would be eccentric to change governments when we have achieved so much,” Johnson said in his speech outside of No.10 Downing Street amid loud booing from the crowd nearby. “I regret not to be successful in those arguments and, of course, it’s painful not to be able to see through those projects myself.”

NBC News reports Johnson’s resignation “comes after a series of ministers resigned in the wake of shifting explanations over his handling of a sexual misconduct scandal, which added to months of fury over revelations of alcohol-fueled parties Johnson and his aides held during Covid-19 lockdown.”

Known as “partygate”, poll ratings for Johnson, 58, and his party plummeted following the scandal. “Public anger persisted for months, with Johnson and his wife, Carrie, booed as they arrived for a Platinum Jubilee event last month.”

NBC News reports:

On June 6, Johnson narrowly won a confidence vote among his own lawmakers, leaving him damaged but still in power and his party bitterly divided. Within weeks another scandal forced a lawmaker to step down from his senior role involving party discipline and welfare amid sexual misconduct allegations.

A series of senior lawmakers subsequently resigned, with their exit and Johnson’s defiance leaving Britain’s government virtually rudderless as it faces some of its most serious crises in decades…

…Johnson has always been a divisive figure, but his popularity among Conservative Party lawmakers and members had until now largely withstood the twin stresses of Covid-19 and Brexit during his two-and-a-half-year leadership.