Boris-Johnson-UK PM
(UK's PM Boris Johnson has resigned)

Johnson’s turbulent tenure as UK PM comes to an end

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned Thursday as Conservative leader, after the latest ethics scandal around his leadership led more than 50 ministers and senior government aides to quit.

Speaking outside famous 10 Downing Street, Johnson said he was “immensely proud of the achievements of this government,” and acknowledged that “in politics, no one is remotely indispensable.”

The first resignations came on Tuesday night within minutes of each other as two of Johnson’s highest-ranking ministers — the chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, and the health secretary, Sajid Javid- released apparently coordinated statements saying they couldn’t continue to give him their support, following a dispute over Johnson’s decision to appoint Chris Pincher as Conservative Party deputy chief whip earlier this year.

Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip amid accusations that he had groped two men at a private club. That triggered a series of reports about past allegations against Pincher.

Johnson offered shifting explanations about what he knew and when he knew it. That just heightened the sense that the prime minister couldn’t be trusted.

Wednesday started with a slew of other resignations of less prominent MPs, and by mid-afternoon, there had been at least 26 in total. That total had climbed to 42 resignations by Wednesday evening. That was followed by further ministerial resignations on Thursday morning.

Johnson has said he intends to stay on until autumn as a “caretaker” prime minister. But it is not clear whether that will happen. Some MPs and business leaders suggested he should go sooner rather than later to allow a new executive to try to tackle the sharpest rise in the cost of living for 40 years, which millions of UK households are struggling with.

All eyes are now on Johnson’s successor, with speculation rife over which of the “big players” — such as current or former Cabinet ministers — will announce their intention to run.