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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street PA
stepping down

Boris Johnson to resign, but will remain as UK Prime Minister until new Tory leader is in place

It comes after over 50 Government members resigned and called for Johnson to step down.

BORIS JOHNSON HAS announced his resignation as UK Prime Minister.

It follows a slew of resignations over the last 48 hours, which began with the resignation of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday and ended with calls from senior Cabinet figures calling for Johnson to step down.

This included new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, who privately called for Johnson to resign before making a public statement earlier this morning.

Over 50 members of Government resigned after Johnson was forced to apologise over his handling of a row involving the former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, after it emerged Johnson had forgotten about being told of previous allegations of Pincher’s “inappropriate” conduct.

In a public statement this lunchtime, Johnson said that there should be a new leader of the Conservative Party and that he will remain in post until a new leader is selected.

“It’s clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party, that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister,” said Johnson.

“I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week.

“And I’ve today appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place.”

Johnson said that he attempted to persuade his Cabinet ministers to back him, saying it would be “eccentric” to change the Prime Minister but that he was not successful.

“In politics, no one is remotely indispensable,” he added.

He said that there would be many people who would be both relieved and disappointed that he was resigning.

“I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world but them’s the breaks,” said Johnson.

Immediate reaction to Johnson’s resignation came from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who tweeted that he made the right decision by stepping down.

“We need calmness and unity now and to keep governing while a new leader is found,” Truss said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that he had worked closely with Johnson, the relationship between Ireland and the UK had become “strained” in recent months.

“Our two Governments working in close partnership is a key underpinning for peace and prosperity on these islands. While Prime Minister Johnson and I engaged actively together, we didn’t always agree, and the relationship between our Governments has been strained and challenged in recent times,” Martin said.

He called for both Governments to return to closer working relationship, saying that there was an opportunity to do so with the election of a new Prime Minister.

“Our joint responsibilities concerning stewardship of the Good Friday Agreement, as well as nurturing broader bilateral relations between us, require us to work together in a spirit of respect, trust and partnership.   

“That is more important than ever today and I would once again urge a pulling back from unilateral action, whether that be on dealing with the legacy of the past, human rights, or the Northern Ireland Protocol.  

“We have now an opportunity to return to the true spirit of partnership and mutual respect that is needed to underpin the gains of the Good Friday Agreement,” Martin said.

US President Joe Biden has also released a statement, saying that the relationship between the UK and US will remain strong.

“The United Kingdom and the United States are the closest of friends and allies, and the special relationship between our people remains strong and enduring,” Biden said.

“I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the Government of the United Kingdom, as well as our allies and partners around the world, on a range of important priorities.

“This includes maintaining a strong and united approach to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Putin’s brutal war on their democracy, and holding Russia accountable for its actions.”

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