Thursday, August 18

Boris Johnson will resign after being forced by his government and his party, according to the BBC

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, will resign this Thursday after being forced by his Government and by his own party, according to the BBC. The Conservative leadership race will take place this summer and a new prime minister will be appointed in time for the party’s convention. tory in October, reports the British chain.

The parties in Downing Street: “wine through the walls”, “drunkenness” and maneuvers to flee from journalists

Know more

Leader tory He was plunged into a new political crisis after the cascade of resignations in part due to the last of the scandals that have dotted his mandate, the management of the accusations of sexual harassment against the conservative deputy Chris Pincher.

Until now, Johnson had managed to hold on to power, even despite a vote a month ago against him by his party to impeach him, the formal procedure by which UK prime ministers fall mid-term. This Wednesday, in the weekly session of questions before the British Parliament, Johnson insisted that he had no intention of leaving. “The job of a prime minister in difficult times, in circumstances where he has been given a colossal mandate, is to carry on and that is what I am going to do,” he said.

More than 50 positions in his government have resigned between Tuesday and Wednesday, including Economy Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid, two heavyweights from the Conservative Party. In addition to part of his parliamentary group, this Wednesday several ministers asked Johnson to present his resignation. A delegation of half a dozen ministers went to Downing Street, the official residence and seat of government, to ask him in person.

In the midst of the crisis, the defiant Johnson fired Michael Gove, who was housing minister, one of those who had asked him to leave office and a politician close to him since the Brexit campaign. A few hours later, shortly before seven o’clock on Thursday morning, two other ministers resigned, the one from Wales and the one from Northern Ireland. Nadhim Zahawi, the newly appointed finance minister, called on Johnson in a letter published Thursday to leave: “Do the right thing and leave now.”

A deputy told the newspaper The Times that Johnson preferred a dramatic end to his term as prime minister: “Think in classical terms. For him, there is no greater honor in a resignation than the fact that they kill you. If you are going to die, he dies fighting.”

Accumulation of controversies

Johnson came to power in July 2019, when he was foreign minister, after the party forced the fall of Theresa May, in the midst of Brexit negotiations, and won the general election in December of that year. His mandate has been marked by the turbulent talks for the official exit of the United Kingdom from the EU -which in recent months he has tried to question in a new confrontation with Brussels- and by the coronavirus pandemic, for which he himself was hospitalized in March 2020. Also for several scandals related to the lack of transparency about what the prime minister knew and what he did not know.

The latest controversy that has haunted Johnson is due to his handling of complaints about the behavior of Pincher, who resigned as head of the conservative training discipline after the revelation that he had groped two men in a private club without their consent. of London (the MP only said that he had “drank too much” and that he had “made a fool of himself”).

The prime minister acknowledged, after initially denying it, that he was aware that Pincher had been investigated in the past for inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Johnson admitted that it was “a mistake” to appoint Pincher to the job last February and apologized. “There is no place in this government for anyone to engage in predatory behavior or abuse his position of power,” he said in an interview Tuesday shortly before his ministers’ resignation announcements.

This scandal comes on top of the Conservatives’ poor performance in the last two special local elections and Downing Street celebrations that broke the strict pandemic lockdown rules that were in place in the UK for most of 2020 and 2021.

“Enough is enough,” Javid told Johnson at Parliament’s control session on Wednesday. “My conclusion is that the problem starts with the leader, and I think it will not change. And this means that he is up to us, the ones who have a responsibility to make that change.”

On June 6, Johnson overcame the vote called by the Conservative Party to question his leadership after the independent report documenting the lack of compliance with health rules to control the pandemic by various members of the Government, including celebrations in the seat of the executive in 2020 and 2021. Under current party rules, the prime minister cannot be put to another internal vote for another year, unless the rules are changed, which the Conservatives have suggested they can do. next week, when new deputies take control of the committee in charge.

And now that?

One of the last acts of Boris Johnson before the outbreak of the crisis has been the letter he sent to the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in response to the call for a referendum on Scottish independence for October 19, 2023. “I cannot agree that now is the time to return to the question,” he wrote. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the one who has the power to authorize it, as David Cameron did in 2014, when he won the vote in favor of staying in the Union.

Now it is up to the Conservative Party to choose Johnson’s replacement until the next general election, scheduled in principle for 2024. The last time the Tories they fired their premiereIn May’s case, the process took about six weeks.