Boris Johnson: resignation, controversy and more
On July 7th, Boris Johnson announced he is stepping down as prime minister (PM) after a number of officials resigned in Parliament. However, Johnson will remain in the position until the next Conservative Party leader is elected.
The Chris Pincher scandal
Johnson’s handling of the Chris Pincher scandal was perhaps the biggest blow to his popularity and a significant source of pressure that led him to step down.
On June 30th, Pincher, Member Parliament (MP), had given up his position after being accused of sexual misconduct by two men the day earlier. After Pincher's resignation, more of similar allegations surfaced from years before.
Johnson was reportedly aware of Pincher's past (which the prime minister had falsely denied) but appointed him Deputy Chief Whip (i.e. someone who ensures the maximum number of members of a party vote and vote by that party's wishes) this February.
Johnson's response to the conflict lost him serious support in the Parliament, including two senior cabinet ministers, followed by over 40 resignations of other government officials in a single day.
Some other prime minister's setbacks include his COVID-19 lockdown violations and the handling of the pandemic in the UK in general. These and other tensions that have been surrounding Johnson for months have contributed to an abrupt end of his career.
Britain's Conservative Party had already begun its search for a new prime minister;
Some candidates in the lead include Johnson's former finance minister Rishi Sunak and trade minister Penny Mordaunt.
The new prime minister is expected to be announced by the 5th of September.