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JUST IN: Boris Johnson to resign

 

Boris Johnson will today resign as prime minister as he finally bows to the pressure of swathes of government resignations.

A No 10 source said Johnson had spoken to the Chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, and agreed to stand down, with a new Tory leader set to be in place by the party’s conference in October.

But former minister George Freeman, who quit his role earlier in protest against the PM’s leadership, said a caretaker should be put in place, rather than letting him continue to lead over the summer.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister will make a statement to the country today.”

The confirmation came shortly after Johnson’s newly appointed Education Secretary Michelle Donelan resigned following just 36 hours in the post, and new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi told the prime minister to “go now”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also confirmed he had withdrawn his support for the PM, and earlier, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis resigned from his post.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was “good news for the country” that Johnson was stepping down, adding: “It should have happened long ago.”

There has been intense pressure on Johnson to quit after more than 50 resignations from all levels of government, and waves of backbenchers appealing for him to go.

The mass rebellion began on Tuesday after Downing Street admitted the PM knew about allegations of inappropriate behaviour against disgraced former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher in 2019, but still appointed him in February.

Before the admission, government ministers had been sent out to defend Johnson on the airwaves, and told to say their boss was unware of “specific” allegations.

Minutes after Johnson apologised, saying appointing Pincher was a “mistake”, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announce his departure, followed swiftly by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

*Courtesy: Sky News

 

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