Boris Johnson will resign as Tory leader today
- Credit: PA
Boris Johnson has announced that he will step down as Conservative party leader.
PA have reported that the prime minister has spoken to Tory 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady and agreed to stand down, with a new Tory leader set to be in place by the party conference in October.
A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today.”
It follows yet another brutal period for Mr Johnson, who has come under intense criticism for a series of scandals.
This includes, most recently, his handling of claims of inappropriate behaviour levelled at former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.
Conservative heavyweights Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid quit on Tuesday evening within minutes of Mr Johnson apologising for appointing Mr Pincher to the senior role in a co-ordinated plot to oust the PM.
Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, newly appointed chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and education secretary Michelle Donelan quit their roles less than 48 hours after being appointed.
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This proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Mr Johnson, with the BBC reporting this morning that he intended to resign.
Despite his imminent resignation as Tory leader, Boris Johnson has announced new ministerial appointments as he seeks to continue in office.
Downing Street has appointed Kit Malthouse as Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, the most senior minister in the Cabinet Office after the Prime Minister.
Shailesh Vara has been appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Robert Buckland as Welsh Secretary.
Greg Clark has been named as Levelling Up Secretary, replacing Michael Gove and James Cleverly has been appointed Education Secretary.
Critics of the Prime Minister have said he should not be allowed to remain in office until the autumn.
George Freeman, who quit as science minister on Thursday morning, said that now Mr Johnson had “finally done the decent thing” he should “hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty, allow her to appoint a caretaker under whom ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader properly”.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng joined calls for the PM to stand down before October, saying a new leader is needed “as soon as practicable”.
He tweeted: “What a depressing state of affairs. So much needless damage caused."
Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer said Boris Johnson must not be allowed to linger in office and must be removed immediately.
He threatened to use a Commons vote of no confidence procedure to attempt to oust the Prime Minister unless he hands over the reins to another premier.
Sir Keir told reporters in Westminster: “He needs to go completely. None of this nonsense about clinging on for a few months.
“He’s inflicted lies, fraud and chaos in the country.
“We’re stuck with a government which isn’t functioning in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
“And all of those that have been propping him up should be utterly ashamed of themselves.”
The former journalist became prime minister in July 2019.
Before this, he served as the second elected mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 and as secretary of state for foreign affairs from 2016 to 2018, under then prime minister Theresa May.