Controversy has followed Boris Johnson since he came into office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. From Brexit to ‘Party Gate’, Johnson has been met with criticism for his UK politics. In response to a wave of ministerial resignations and growing pressure from inside the party, the controversial leader of Great Britain made the decision to resign on Thursday after being unable to lead due to days of defections and Boris Johnson announced his resignation as the head of the governing Conservatives on Thursday. Johnson ultimately decided to retire when Treasury Chief Nadhim Zahawi, one of his closest supporters, advised the Prime Minister to step aside for the benefit of the nation.
Although he still serves as Prime Minister, for the time being, his resignation starts a campaign to succeed him as leader of his party. Without the necessity for a general election, the victor will serve as both party leader and Prime Minister.
Johnson had been under increasing pressure to resign after allegations dropped that he made up the details of how he granted a key position to a friend who was fired last month after being accused of groping individuals.
The incident involving one of their members finally contributed to Johnson’s downfall as Prime Minister, despite months of turbulence during which he survived a vote of confidence by Conservative MPs.
The Cause Of The Crisis
Chris Pincher was nominated by Johnson to the important position of Deputy Chief Whip, which entails maintaining discipline among fellow Conservative MPs. He quit last weekend after being accused of molesting two men while intoxicated at a private members’ club in London. Pincher had been promoted to the position by Johnson in February, which came with responsibilities for the pastoral care of co-workers.
Pincher’s membership in the party was not expelled by the Prime Minister. Four additional charges, including the claim that he had molested two Conservative MPs, were published in the Sunday papers, which led to an increase in pressure. Pincher has refuted the charges. Johnson issued an apology earlier this week after it became clear that, prior to appointing Pincher, he had been informed of past allegations of sexual misconduct against him. According to the Prime Minister, he had forgotten.
Pincher stated in his resignation letter that he had “embarrassed” himself and “caused upset” to others, notwithstanding his denial of specific incident charges. Repeated efforts for feedback from him and his staff have received no response.
Johnson apologized for the elevation of Pincher, calling it “a mistake”, “With hindsight, I should have done something else. I want to be crystal clear that anyone who is predatory or abuses their position of power has no place in this government.”
After being angered by the most recent illustration of Johnson’s unstable relationship with the truth, MPs were eager to get rid of a leader who many now see as an electoral liability. Johnson was compelled to issue an apology earlier this year after being fined for hosting unauthorized parties at 10 Downing Street while Covid-19 restrictions were in effect.
Johnson, running on a platform of finally realizing Britain’s exit from the European Union, led the Conservatives to a resounding general election victory over the opposition Labor Party in 2019. He has been held accountable for a hemorrhaging of voter support, and the party lost seats in recent by-elections that were triggered by MP resignations, including several Conservative strongholds.
Resignation Of Johnson’s Own Government
As Johnson worked to lessen the effects of the Pincher scandal, the potentially deadly blows were dealt on Tuesday when the finance and health ministers announced their resignations. After two of his government’s most senior officials resigned, his premiership was on the verge of collapse. In place of Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister named Nadhim Zahawi as his new Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Steve Barclay will now serve as the health secretary in place of Sajid Javid. After Zahawi was given a promotion, Michelle Donelan was named Secretary of Education. Thereafter, there was a wave of resignations that raised concerns about Johnson’s ability to appoint replacements of high enough caliber, and a line was passed when other ministers who were still in office, demanded that he should step down.
Following the severe shock of Sunak and Javid departing in quick succession, Johnson is fighting back and trying to change the narrative with the swift appointments. He is not out of the woods, though; dissident Conservatives are still looking for a method to remove him due to a string of scandals that have damaged his reputation. MPs who had previously been among Johnson’s most ardent supporters and the newly appointed Finance Minister were among those pushing for his ouster.
In the past seven years, Johnson is the third Conservative leader to be ousted from government by his own party. Theresa May resigned after three years of unsuccessful attempts to get the UK out of the EU following the Brexit vote, whereas, David Cameron resigned after calling and then losing the referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU. Johnson went to the top of British politics within a few turbulent years, winning the largest majority in the government since Margaret Thatcher’s time, but he also experienced a loss of power.
These consequences of UK politics provide many ramifications as to the next events that will take place. In as little as two weeks, a competition to choose a new leader—who will become Prime Minister—could be over.
Johnson should be replaced right away, according to several Conservative MPs, rather than being allowed to serve as interim leader until a replacement is identified. Dominic Raab, the deputy Prime Minister, might take over as an interim leader in one scenario. A newly created cabinet, according to Robert Buckland, the new secretary of state for Wales, will apparently prevent Johnson from implementing significant policy changes in the coming weeks.
The upcoming Conservative party leadership vacancy presents both a chance and a risk for the opposition Labor Party, which has sought to unite behind a new leader, Keir Starmer. This is especially true if the new person in charge of the governing party is successful in attracting back honest Conservative voters and guiding economic challenges.