Tuesday, September 27, 2022

What is happening to the British government and will Boris Johnson resign?

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson is battling for political survival after several scandals in the British government led to a leadership crisis. It comes just a day after the resignations of two senior members of his cabinet were announced, triggering a wave of stepping down from positions in the government. The most recent controversy, Johnson’s handling of sexual misconduct claims against the former deputy chief whip, has sparked widespread discontent from his own cabinet ministers.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday. (Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament/Handout via Reuters)

What is happening in UK?

In less than 24 hours, Johnson’s premiership was on the verge of collapse after being influenced by the resignations of more than 30 members of parliament. Thirty-eight cabinet ministers as well as junior ministers and aides stepped down on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In several letters to the prime minister published on Twitter, the ministers wrote that they had withdrawn their support for their leader and urged him to resign. However, the prime minister said he was determined to keep going.

Protesters protest against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

People protest against Johnson’s leadership in London on Wednesday. (Henry Nichols/Reuters)

A representative of cabinet ministers reportedly met Johnson at his residence number 10 Downing Street and asked him to resign. Two ministers appointed to his role on Tuesday night are believed to be among the group demanding his resignation.

Which politicians have resigned?

On Tuesday, two of Johnson’s most senior ministers resigned over what they described as a lack of confidence in his leadership.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid made their respective announcements to the public via Twitter.

From left: Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson

From left: Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Johnson in 2021. (Toby Melville/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“The public rightly expects that the government will operate properly, competently and seriously,” Sunak, the country’s top Treasury official, wrote. “I agree that this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

In his letter to Johnson, written by javid that he could no longer continue his position “in good conscience”. On Wednesday, Javid made a scathing speech in the House of Commons in which he said he stood by Johnson, but that “the events of recent months have made it difficult to be on that team.”

He added: “It’s not fair for ministerial colleagues to go out every morning to rescue those who don’t stand up and don’t hold on.”

Thirty-six other conservative politicians and government officials sent their resignation letters to the prime minister on Wednesday, including five junior ministers who coordinated the resignation letter together.

Will the Prime Minister resign?

It is unknown at this point whether Johnson will resign. For a man who was once described by a former party member as a “lube boar” for his ability to survive in a variety of circumstances, the prime minister appears to be looking for a way out of mass resignation. Huh. Johnson is under severe pressure from members of the parliamentary party, who believe this is the end of his time in office. However, he has said that he will not leave Number 10 despite the rebellion in his party.

10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street in London, the residence and office of the British Prime Minister. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Last month, Johnson escaped a no-confidence motion in parliament, which had forced him from office, was successful. The vote came amid Conservative infighting stemming from a series of scandals that plagued him, particularly revelations that he had attended parties in defiance of his government’s COVID lockdown rules.

But Johnson could face another vote of confidence after mass resignations. Under the current rules of the 1922 Committee, a group of conservative politicians who do not hold official positions in the government, the prime minister could not face a vote of confidence for the next 12 months. However, the committee met on Wednesday after mass resignations to discuss changing the rules around that timeline. If the rules are changed, Johnson could face another vote of confidence.

What will happen if Johnson resigns?

A chalkboard in London's Parliament Square showing the latest prospects for when Prime Minister Boris Johnson will step down and who will replace him.

A chalkboard in Parliament Square, London, showing the latest hurdles for Johnson to step down and replace him. (Stephen Russo/PA Images via Getty Images)

If Johnson resigns, the Conservative Party will have to choose a new leader, who will become the next prime minister. Members of Parliament will put forward the names they think would be suitable for the top post. After a series of votes, two candidates remain, and then the party will decide who will be the leader.

Nation World News Desk
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