Contenders to lead UK Tory party
July 7, 2022 - After a tumultuous 24 hours in British politics, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed to resign after losing 60 ministers and aides in protest at his leadership.
Outside 10 Downing Street, Johnson announced a leadership election would begin immediately.
Former minister Sir Bob Neill told MPs there was a “serious question mark” over how long a caretaker prime minister could stay in place.
“Might it not be in everybody’s interest to speed up the transition as much as possible?,” he added.
Johnson resisted calls to go until Thursday morning when it became clear that he had lost the confidence of his MPs and that the government could no longer function.
In December 2019, Johnson won a historic landslide victory in a general election -- but he has been dogged by controversy in recent months, including a fine for breaking his coronavirus lockdown laws by holding alcohol-fuelled parties at his official residence in 2020 and 2021, soon nicknamed “partygate.” The latest revolt followed revelations about the prime minister’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations against Chris Pincher, the Conservative Party’s deputy chief whip.