British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to step down as Tory leader. The BBC reported on Thursday, citing government circles. He would soon lose his position as head of government.
The government crisis in London had worsened on Thursday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson increasingly lost support. Even Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed to his post on Tuesday, had publicly called for Johnson to resign. “Prime Minister, in your heart you know what is right. Go now,” Zahawi wrote in a letter to Johnson published on Twitter.
With Education Minister Michelle Donelan and Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis, the number of cabinet members who have resigned has risen to five. Other Tory MPs resigned from government posts. Johnson had shown himself combative on Wednesday and refused to resign.
The total number of resignations from government offices on Thursday morning was over 50. The previously ultra-loyal chief legal officer Suella Braverman had asked Johnson to resign on live television the night before and brought herself into play as his successor. However, she herself did not want to resign at first.
According to media reports, a number of incumbent ministers visited the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street in the evening and urged him to resign. In addition to Chancellor of the Exchequer Zahawi, Transport Minister Grant Shapps is said to have been among them. Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has been ultra-loyal to date, and Economics Minister Kwasi Kwarteng are also said to have opposed Johnson.
Building and Housing Minister Michael Gove, who is considered a long-time companion and political heavyweight, was dismissed on Wednesday evening. He is said to have recommended the prime minister to resign in the morning.
The government crisis began when Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid resigned from their posts on Tuesday.
In his letter of resignation published on Tuesday evening, Javid wrote that he had lost confidence in the head of government. They now demanded the same from Johnson.
Johnson narrowly survived a no-confidence vote in his group just a month ago. Under Tory party rules, no new attempt to overthrow the leader can be made for 12 months after the vote. However, a rule change could mean a new vote of no confidence as early as next week. It is considered likely that Johnson will lose this time.
The most recent government crisis in Westminster was triggered by an affair involving Johnson’s party colleague Chris Pincher, who is accused of sexual harassment. It was previously revealed that Johnson knew about the allegations against Pincher before he promoted him to a key faction position. His spokesman had previously denied this several times.