Boris Johnson resigns as UK PM, says 'sad to give up world's best job'
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned after the latest ethics scandal around his leadership led some 50 senior lawmakers to quit the government.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally succumbed to political reality Thursday and said he was sad to announce his resignation as Conservative Party leader, triggering a leadership election for a new Tory leader who will go on to become the new PM.
He said he will continue in office until a new Conservative leader is in place.
"The process of choosing a new leader should begin now. And today I have appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will until a new leader is in place," Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.
"It is clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party, and therefore a new prime minister," Johnson said.
Johnson, 58, announced that he would step down after a slew of resignations from his top team in protest at his leadership but would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is found.
The timetable for a Tory leadership race will be announced next week, he said, after three tumultuous years in office defined by Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and non-stop controversy over his reputation for mendacity.
The leadership election will take place over the summer and the victor will replace Johnson by the party's annual conference in early October, the BBC and others reported.
He said he was "sad... to be giving up the best job in the world" and justified fighting on in the final hours to deliver the mandate he won in a general election in December 2019.
After days of battling for his job, the scandal-plagued Johnson had been deserted by all but a handful of allies after the latest in a series of scandals broke their willingness to support him.
"His resignation was inevitable," Justin Tomlinson, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said on Twitter. "As a party we must quickly unite and focus on what matters. These are serious times on many fronts."
The Conservatives will now have to elect a new leader, a process which could take weeks or months.
A snap YouGov poll found that defence minister Ben Wallace was the favourite among Conservative Party members to replace Johnson, followed by junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt and former finance minister Rishi Sunak.
Many said he should leave immediately and hand over to his deputy, Dominic Raab, saying he had lost the trust of his party.
Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said he would call a parliamentary confidence vote if the Conservatives did not remove Johnson at once.
"If they don't get rid of him, then Labour will step up in the national interest and bring a vote of no confidence because we can't go on with this prime minister clinging on for months and months to come," he said.
The crisis comes as Britons are facing the tightest squeeze on their finances in decades, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with soaring inflation, and the economy forecast to be the weakest among major nations in 2023 apart from Russia.
(With inputs from agencies)
A Chinese research vessel - widely tagged as a spy ship - reached Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port on Tuesday morning, reports said, amid concerns in India. Yuan Wang-5 is used by China's People's Liberation Army to track satellites and ballistic missiles. The ship is said to have some 2,000 sailors aboard. The Hambantota Port has been taken by China on a debt swap by China on a 99-year-lease.
Details and reactions are unraveling everyday after the attack on author Salman Rushdie last week in New York, United States, left the world in shock and horror. Rusdhie, 75, suffered grave stab wounds after he was attacked at a literary event in New York on Friday. Indian-American Padma Lakshmi, TV host and model, Padma Lakshmi, was married to Rushdie between 2004 and 2007. Laksmi is also the host of popular show 'Top Chef'.
Iran's foreign ministry said on Monday that no one had the right to level accusations against Tehran over Friday's attack on Salman Rushdie, and only he and his supporters were worthy of reproach and condemnation for denigrating the world's Muslims. In Iran's first official reaction to Friday's attack, ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said freedom of speech did not justify Rushdie's insults against religion. Writers and politicians around the world have condemned the attack.
An area of intensely warm weather -- a so-called "extreme heat belt" -- with at least one day per year in which the heat index hits 125 Fahrenheit (52C), is expected to cover a US region home to more than 100 million people by the year 2053, according to a new study.
Ukraine called for new sanctions on Russia and warned about the consequences of catastrophe at Europe's biggest nuclear plant, where fresh shelling nearby has renewed a blame game between both sides. Ukrainian and Russian-installed officials have traded accusations over who is responsible for attacks close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine. In Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's late Monday-night address, Zelenskiy sought a tougher world response on the Kremlin. Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield reports.