The prime minister resigned on the steps of 10 Downing Street today.
Boris Johnson made it clear that he didn’t want to step down from the job but hadn’t been able to persuade other members of the Government that he should stay. He said it was “painful” and he was sad “to be giving up the best job in the world” but would stay on until a new prime minister is appointed.
The pressure had been building on Boris Johnson since Tuesday when Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned from the prime minister’s top table of Government – the cabinet.
After that, nearly 60 more Government ministers also quit their jobs.
The Government ministers felt they couldn’t support the prime minister after a series of scandals. The latest was Boris Johnson giving a senior job to an MP who had been accused of assaulting people in a club. Before this, Boris Johnson had already been facing a lot of bad headlines, including criticisms over parties held at Downing Street during the Covid lockdowns. The PM was fined for breaking the law after going to one of the parties.
In his resignation speech, the prime minister said he was proud of the achievements of the Government and that it would continue to back people in Ukraine fighting for their freedom.
What happens next?
Boris Johnson’s political party, the Conservatives, have to appoint a new leader who will become prime minister. This is because the Conservative Party had the most MPs elected in the last general election and will remain in Government until the next election is held.
How will they choose the new prime minister?
Conservative MPs can put themselves forward for the job and then there are a series of votes by other Conservative MPs. In each round, the person with the smallest number of votes drops out until there are only two people left.
The final two are then voted on by all Conservative Party members – not just MPs.
The whole process can take around six weeks.
People being tipped to become prime minister include Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi; the person who had the job before him, Rishi Sunak; Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab; International Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt; Defence Secretary Ben Wallace; Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
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