Liz Truss Becomes New UK PM After Audience With Queen Elizabeth

Britain’s former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries arrives in Downing Street, central London, on September 6, 2022. – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, handing over power to Liz Truss after his momentous tenure dominated by Brexit and Covid was cut short by scandal. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

 

 

Liz Truss on Tuesday officially became Britain’s new prime minister, at an audience with head of state Queen Elizabeth II after the resignation of Boris Johnson.

The former foreign secretary, 47, was seen in an official photograph shaking hands with the monarch to accept her offer to form a new government and become the 15th prime minister of her 70-year reign.

The symbolic ceremony took place at the sovereign’s remote Balmoral retreat in the Scottish Highlands, as the queen, 96, was deemed unfit to return to London due to ill health.

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and new Conservative Party leader and Britain’s Prime Minister-elect Liz Truss meet at Balmoral Castle in Ballater, Scotland, on September 6, 2022, where the Queen invited Truss to form a Government. – Truss will formally take office Tuesday, after her predecessor Boris Johnson tendered his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Jane Barlow / POOL / AFP)

 

“The queen received in audience the right honourable Elizabeth Truss MP today and requested her to form a new administration,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“Ms Truss accepted Her Majesty’s offer and kissed hands upon her appointment as prime minister.

The last time the handover of power took place at Balmoral was in 1885, when queen Victoria was on the throne.

Normally, the outgoing and incoming prime minister meet the queen in quick succession at Buckingham Palace in central London.

It has only been held once outside London since 1952, when Winston Churchill met the new queen at Heathrow Airport after the death of her father, king George VI.

 

Britain’s former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (C), and Rachel Johnson (centre R) take a selfie photograph as they gather to listen to Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson make his leaving speech in Downing Street, central London, on September 6, 2022. – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, handing over power to Liz Truss after his momentous tenure dominated by Brexit and Covid was cut short by scandal. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP)

 

Truss, who was announced winner of an internal vote of Conservative party members on Monday, after a gruelling contest that began in July.

She is expected to make her first speech as prime minister outside 10 Downing Street at about 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Tuesday — weather permitting.

Heavy rain and storms are forecast, mirroring the gloomy economic situation that she and her new senior ministers will now have to tackle.

The appointments are due to be finalised before she hosts her first cabinet meeting and faces questions in parliament on Wednesday.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to become finance minister, with Attorney General Suella Braverman moved to the tricky brief of home secretary, and James Cleverly to foreign affairs.

If confirmed, it would mean no white men in any of Britain’s four main ministerial posts for the first time ever.

 

A police officer stands on duty outside the door of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of Britain’s Prime Minister, in central London, on September 6, 2022. – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, handing over power to Liz Truss after his momentous tenure dominated by Brexit and Covid was cut short by scandal. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

 

– To-do list –
The incoming prime minister faces a daunting to-do list, with the UK in the grip of its worst economic crisis in decades, with double-digit inflation and sky-rocketing gas and electricity bills.

Truss, who touts herself as a free-market liberal, has promised tax cuts to stimulate growth, despite warnings that greater borrowing could make inflation worse.

British media reported on Tuesday that she would freeze energy bills for hard-pressed households and business which could cost some £100 billion ($116 billion).

The contrast to her beaten leadership rival Rishi Sunak’s more cautious approach has opened another rift in the Conservative party that was already divided by Johnson’s departure.

Recent opinion polls suggest a sizeable chunk of the British public have no faith in her ability to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

A new poll by YouGov said only 14 percent expect Truss — the fourth Tory prime minister in six years — to do a better job than Johnson.

Johnson, whose tenure was dominated by Brexit and Covid and cut short by a succession of scandals, earlier promised Truss his unswerving support as he made a farewell speech in Downing Street.

“I will be supporting Liz Truss and the new government every step of the way,” he said, before leaving for Balmoral to cheers and applause from supporters.

He urged the Tories to put aside their ideological differences which have seen the party fight like cats and dogs over how best to tackle the energy crisis.

“If Dilyn (his dog) and Larry (the Downing Street cat) can put behind them their occasional difficulties then so can the Conservative party,” he added.

 

Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his final speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London on September 6, 2022, before heading to Balmoral to tender his resignation. – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, handing over power to Liz Truss after his momentous tenure dominated by Brexit and Covid was cut short by scandal. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and his wife Carrie come out as Johnson prepares to deliver his final speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London on September 6, 2022, before heading to Balmoral to tender his resignation. – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, handing over power to Liz Truss after his momentous tenure dominated by Brexit and Covid was cut short by scandal. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson is greeted by the Queen Elizabeth II’s Equerry Lieutenant Colonel Tom White and her private Secretary Sir Edward Young as he arrives at Balmoral for an audience to formally resign as Prime Minister on September 6, 2022. – Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday vowed to support his successor Liz Truss “every step of the way” as he made his farewell Downing Street speech. (Photo by Andrew Milligan / POOL / AFP)

 

– Comeback? –
But former newspaper polemicist Johnson failed to dampen speculation that he is eyeing a potential return to the political front line.

“Like Cincinnatus, I am returning to my plough,” he said. Latin scholars were quick to point out that the Roman statesman eventually returned to politics.

Johnson, 58, remains popular among grassroots Tories as a charismatic election winner who took the country out of the European Union.

Despite repeated accusations of corruption and cronyism during his tenure, and an unprecedented police fine for breaking his own lockdown rules, Johnson is said to be smarting at having to leave.

Speculation has swirled that he could bide his time for a comeback, particularly if Truss struggles to overcome the country’s many problems.

In her acceptance speech on Monday, Truss ruled out seeking her own mandate from the public at an early general election, vowing victory in 2024.

Who Could Take Over As UK Prime Minister?

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on July 12, 2022 shows, top row from left, Britain’s  Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Nadhim Zahawi, Tom Tugendhat, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Kemi Badenoch. (Photos by various sources / AFP)

 

 

The race to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative leader and Britain’s prime minister is heating up, with eight candidates facing the first vote among Tory MPs on Wednesday.

While several possible successors are seen as frontrunners, there is no clear favourite — and such contests are notoriously volatile.

Rishi Sunak

The UK’s first Hindu finance minister, and Britain’s richest MP, Sunak quit last week and declared he was standing three days later.

Sunak, 42, launched his campaign on Tuesday, saying he would not “demonise” the outgoing Johnson despite helping to trigger his demise.

Long seen as Johnson’s most likely successor, his prospects were dented earlier this year by questions over his private wealth and family’s tax arrangements.

Sunak earned millions in finance before politics, and his Indian wife Akshata Murty’s father co-founded the IT giant Infosys.

His apparent reluctance to embrace the immediate tax cuts being promised by rivals could also harm his prospects.

But a recent poll of Conservative members who will eventually vote for their new leader put Sunak on top.

Penny Mordaunt

Mordaunt, 49, the first woman to have been UK defence secretary and currently a trade minister, joined the contest in a video posted to social media Sunday.

A strong Brexit supporter and key figure in the 2016 “Leave” campaign, she has been tipped as a potential unity candidate who could draw support from the Conservative party’s warring factions, and is popular among grassroots members.

The former magician’s assistant launched her campaign on Wednesday, promising a return to Conservative policies of “low tax, small state and personal responsibility” and a “relentless focus on cost-of-living issues”.

Kemi Badenoch

Former equalities minister Badenoch, who resigned last week, has one of the lowest profiles of the current contenders but is polling well among the party’s members.

Another trenchant critic of “identity politics”, the 42-year-old is a strong defender of conservativism and received a boost with the endorsement of Tory heavyweight Michael Gove.

Liz Truss

Foreign Secretary Truss confirmed her widely expected leadership bid on Sunday.

The 46-year-old is popular among Conservative members for her outspokenness.

But that has also stoked questions about her judgement, for instance when in February she encouraged Britons to fight in Ukraine.

Critics say her leadership posturing has been too overt and question her principles, after she campaigned against Brexit in 2016 only to ally herself with the Tory right.

When she headed the Department for International Trade, some MPs dubbed it the “Department for Instagramming Truss” because of her prolific output on the social media site.

Jeremy Hunt

Former foreign and health secretary Hunt, 55, lost to Johnson in 2019, but confirmed Saturday he will run again.

A supporter of remaining inside the European Union during the 2016 referendum, he has revealed Brexiteer Esther McVey will be his deputy if he wins.

A fluent Japanese speaker but lacking Johnson’s charisma, he has also vowed to cut corporation tax from 25 to 15 percent.

Nadhim Zahawi

Newly appointed finance minister Zahawi was praised for overseeing Britain’s pandemic vaccines rollout, before helming the education department.

The 55-year-old is a former refugee from Iraq who came to Britain as a child speaking no English. Before entering politics, he co-founded the prominent polling company YouGov.

But his private wealth has also drawn adverse attention, including when he claimed parliamentary expenses for heating his horse stables.

His fledgling campaign was endangered Sunday after newspapers reported he is being investigated by UK tax authorities, though he has denied wrongdoing.

Tom Tugendhat

The prominent backbencher who chairs parliament’s influential foreign affairs committee was the first to launch his bid.

A former army officer who served in the Middle East, he is also a hawk on China and has been critical of the government’s handling of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The 49-year-old committed to spending 3.0 percent of GDP on defence as he launched his campaign on Tuesday.

Suella Braverman

Attorney General and arch-Brexiteer Braverman declared her campaign in media interviews last week, even before Johnson announced his resignation.

The 42-year-old is popular within the party for her Euroscepticism and fierce attacks on “woke” politics.

She is one of 28 so-called “Spartan” Tory MPs, who refused to back ex-prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on all three occasions it was voted on in parliament.

New UK Prime Minister To Be Announced On September 5

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 05, 2021 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after giving an update on the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic during a virtual press conference inside the new Downing Street Briefing Room in central London. Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP)

 

The new UK prime minister to replace the outgoing Boris Johnson will be announced on September 5, the ruling Conservative party said Monday, with 11 hopefuls currently vying for the job.

The leadership contest was triggered last week when Johnson, 58, was forced to step down after a frenzy of more than 50 resignations from his government, in opposition to his scandal-hit premiership.

The influential 1922 Committee of non-ministerial Tory MPs in parliament on Monday outlined a timetable for the party’s leadership election.

Nominations will officially open and close on Tuesday, with a new prime minister set to be installed when parliament returns from the summer break on September 5, Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, told reporters.

READ ALSO: Ukrainian Army Recruits Begin UK Military Training

Tory MPs will whittle the current list down to a final two through a series of ballots, with the worst-performing candidate eliminated after each round, before party members choose the winner.

With calls for Johnson to leave Downing Street as soon as possible — and to avoid the process dragging into MPs’ summer holidays — the numbers are likely to be pared down quickly to just two.

The joint-executive secretary of the 1922 Committee, Bob Blackman, said they were committed to doing that before parliament breaks for the summer on July 21.

The first ballot will be held on Wednesday, with a second ballot likely on Thursday, said Brady.

In a bid to speed up the process, candidates must have at least 20 MPs backing them in order to enter the race, up from the usual eight, and any candidate who fails to get the support of 30 MPs in the first ballot will be eliminated.

Among those running are Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, whose departures as finance minister and health minister sparked the wave of resignations.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Sunak’s successor Nadhim Zahawi have also declared, and Home Secretary Priti Patel is reportedly mulling a bid.

But a poll of grassroots members by the influential ConservativeHome website released on Monday showed strong support for less high-profile candidates, with former defence minister Penny Mordaunt holding a narrow lead from arch-conservative Kemi Badenoch.

Brexit figurehead Johnson dramatically announced his departure as party leader last Thursday but is staying on in Downing Street until a replacement is found.

Javid said that with Britain facing a soaring cost-of-living crisis, energy price hikes and the war in Ukraine, there was a need more than ever for “competence” in the country’s leaders.

“I’ve every hope that this campaign can and will be the turning point that we need,” he said at a campaign launch.

Fall from grace

On a visit to a science research institute in London, Johnson was asked directly if he would endorse any of the candidates, six of whom are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

“The job of the prime minister at this stage is to let the party decide, let them get on with it, and to continue delivering on the projects that we were elected to deliver,” he said.

Johnson’s fall from grace has been spectacular. In December 2019 he won a landslide 80-seat victory on a promise to take Britain out of the European Union.

His parliamentary majority allowed him to do just that but his premiership was hit by waves of scandal, not least about lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street that saw him fined by police.

Another row blew up last week about his appointment of a senior colleague despite knowing of sexual assault allegations against him, sparking the government resignations.

In his speech, he blamed the “herd” for moving against him, and his allies have been briefing angrily against Sunak.

But Johnson refused to say Monday whether he felt betrayed.

“I don’t want to say any more about all that,” he said.

“There’s a contest under way and that has happened and you know, I wouldn’t want to damage any chances by offering my support.

“I just have to get on and in the last few days or weeks… the constitutional function of the prime minister in this situation is to continue to discharge the mandate. And that’s what I’m doing,” he added.

“The more we focus on the people who elect us… (and) the less we talk about politics at Westminster, the generally happier we will all be.”

AFP

Brexit To Exit: Rise And Fall Of Boris Johnson

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 29, 2022 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to attend a Service of Thanksgiving for Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in central London..  (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

Boris Johnson rode his luck throughout his career, bouncing back from a succession of setbacks and scandals that would have sunk other less popular politicians.

But the luck of a man once likened to a “greased piglet” for his ability to escape controversies finally ran out, after a slew of high-profile resignations from his scandal-hit government.

The departure of cabinet big hitters Rishi Sunak as finance minister and Sajid Javid as health secretary on Tuesday weakened the under-pressure prime minister just as he needed allies the most.

His expected departure Thursday — after a tidal wave of resignations from his top team — comes just three years after he took over from Theresa May in an internal Conservative leadership contest.

He called a snap general election that December, winning the biggest Tory parliamentary majority since the heyday of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

That allowed him to unblock years of political paralysis after the 2016 Brexit vote, to take Britain out of the European Union in January 2020.

But he has faced criticism since, from his handling of the coronavirus pandemic to allegations of corruption, cronyism, double standards and duplicity.

Some drew parallels between his governing style and his chaotic private life of three marriages, at least seven children and rumours of a host of affairs.

Sonia Purnell, Johnson’s former Daily Telegraph colleague, suggested that Sunak and Javid may have realised what she and others have before them.

“The closer you get to him, the less you like him, and the less you can trust him,” she told Sky News.

“He really does let everyone down, at every point he really does mislead you.”

‘Cavalier’

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference to update the nation on the Covid-19 booster vaccine program in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on December 15, 2021. Tolga Akmen / POOL / AFP

 

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had a conventional rise to power for a Conservative politician: first the elite Eton College, then Oxford University.

At Eton, his teachers bemoaned his “cavalier attitude” to his studies and the sense he gave that he should be treated as “an exception”.

Johnson’s apparent attitude that rules were for other people was amply demonstrated in 2006 when he inexplicably rugby tackled an opponent in a charity game of football.

His elastic relationship with the truth was forged at Oxford, where he was president of the Oxford Union, a debating society founded on rhetoric and repartee rather than mastery of cold, hard facts.

His privileged cohort in the backstabbing den of student politics provided many leading Brexiteers.

Soon after Oxford, he married his first wife — fellow student Allegra Mostyn-Owen — despite her mother’s misgivings.

“I didn’t like the fact he was on the right,” Gaia Servadio, who died last year, was quoted as saying by Johnson’s biographer Tom Bower.

“But above all, I didn’t like his character. For him, the truth doesn’t exist.”

After university, he was sacked from The Times newspaper after making up a quote, then joined the Telegraph as its Brussels correspondent.

From there he fed the growing Conservative Euroscepticism of the 1990s with regular “euromyths” about supposed EU plans for a federal mega-state threatening British sovereignty.

Exasperated rivals charged with matching his questionable exclusives described some of his tales as “complete bollocks”.

– Opportunism –

Johnson capitalised on his increasingly high profile from Brussels, with satirical television quiz show appearances, and newspaper and magazine columns.

Much of his journalism has since been requoted at length, particularly his unreconstructed views on issues from single mothers and homosexuality to British colonialism.

He became an MP in 2004, with the Tory leader at the time, Michael Howard, sacking him from his shadow cabinet for lying about an extra-marital affair.

From 2008 to 2016 he served two terms as mayor of London, promoting himself as a pro-EU liberal, a stance which he abandoned as soon as the Brexit referendum came about.

He became “leave” campaign’s figurehead, capitalising on his popular image as an unconventional but likeable rogue as the quickest route to power.

His former editor at the Telegraph, Max Hastings, described it as cynical — but not unexpected. Johnson, he said, “cares for no interest save his own fame and gratification”.

On Wednesday, as calls mounted for Johnson to go, Hastings wrote in The Times that the prime minister had “broken every rule of decency, and made no attempt to pursue a coherent policy agenda beyond Brexit”.

But he was “the same morally bankrupt as when the Conservative party chose him, as shambolic in his conduct of office as in the management of his life”.

“We now need a prime minister who will restore dignity and self-respect to the country and its governance,” he added.

Boris Johnson Agrees To Resign As Prime Minister

 

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Thursday finally agreed to step down as Britain’s prime minister.

The Tory leader announced his resignation this afternoon at 10, Downing Street, London.

His agreement to step down comes after several weeks of intense calls for his resignation and a loss of party support, borne out of his mishandling of damaging scandals including parties held at Downing Street in defiance of coronavirus lockdowns and the appointment of Chris Pincher into his government despite knowing of past allegations of sexual misconduct.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 05, 2021 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after giving an update on the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic during a virtual press conference inside the new Downing Street Briefing Room in central London. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP)

 

“It is clear now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister,” Mr Johnson announced.

“I have agreed with Graham Brady, the Chairman of our back bench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now.”


Boris Johnson Battles For Political Survival As Two More Ministers Resign

Brexit To Exit: Rise And Fall Of Boris Johnson


Johnson is expected to continue as Prime Minister until the autumn. A Conservative leadership race will hold this summer and a new PM will be in place in time for the Tory party conference in October.

This is the third day of a steady stream of resignations from Boris Johnson’s government, with over 50 members gone.

While making his resignation speech, Johnson noted that he is very proud of his achievements, including getting Brexit done, getting the UK through the pandemic and leading the West in standing up to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

He advised that the UK must “keep levelling up”, adding that in doing so, the country would become the most prosperous in all of Europe.

The Prime Minister also asserted that he tried to persuade his colleagues that it would be “eccentric” to change government when such a mandate is at hand, adding, however, that he regrets not being successful in those arguments.

Boris Johnson Steps Down As Conservative Leader

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 30, 2022 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures ahead of a meeting of The North Atlantic Council during the NATO summit at the Ifema congress centre in Madrid,. –  (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

 

Boris Johnson resigned on Thursday as leader of Britain’s Conservative party, paving the way for the selection of a new prime minister after dozens of ministers quit his scandal-hit government.

“It is clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party, and therefore a new prime minister,” Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.

Johnson, 58, announced that he would step down after a slew of resignations from his top team in protest at his leadership but would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is found.

The timetable for a Tory leadership race will be announced next week, he said, after three tumultuous years in office defined by Brexit, the Covid pandemic and non-stop controversy over his reputation for mendacity.

The BBC and others reported that the leadership election will take place over the summer and the victor will replace Johnson at the party’s annual conference in early October.

He said he was “sad… to be giving up the best job in the world” and justified fighting on in the final hours to deliver the mandate he won in a general election in December 2019.

In the frenzied hours building up to Johnson’s announcement, opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer had welcomed his impending departure.

But Starmer said “a proper change of government” was needed and demanded a no-confidence vote in parliament, potentially triggering a general election, rather than Johnson “clinging on for months and months”.

While eyeing the exit, Johnson on Thursday sought to steady the ship with several appointments to replace the departed cabinet members.

They included Greg Clark, an arch “remainer” opposed to Britain’s divorce from the European Union, which Johnson had championed.

Johnson had been clinging on to power despite a wave of more than 50 government resignations, expressing defiance late Wednesday.

But Thursday’s departure of education minister Michelle Donelan and a plea to quit from finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, only in their jobs for two days, appeared to tip the balance along with warnings of a new no-confidence vote by Tory MPs.

‘No functioning government’

Defence minister Ben Wallace and Rishi Sunak, whose departure as finance minister on Tuesday sparked the exodus, were among the early frontrunners to succeed Johnson, according to a YouGov survey of Conservative party members.

Those members will decide the new leader once Tory MPs have whittled down the contenders to a final two.

Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis kicked off Thursday’s frenzied events, becoming the fourth cabinet minister to resign and writing that Johnson was “past the point of no return”.

Johnson late on Wednesday defiantly responded to calls from his loyalists and cabinet colleagues to step down by sacking minister Michael Gove, with a Downing Street source telling media that his former Brexit top ally was a “snake”.

The Sun newspaper said Johnson had told colleagues they would have to “dip (their) hands in blood” to push him out of office, but Thursday’s events forced his hand.

The shock resignations of Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid late Tuesday set off a chain of others.

They quit after Johnson apologised for his February appointment of senior Conservative MP Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip.

Pincher was forced to step down following accusations he drunkenly groped two men.

Days of shifting explanations followed the resignation before Downing Street finally conceded that Johnson had known about Pincher’s behaviour as far back as 2019.

Tory critics said the Pincher affair had tipped many over the edge, angry at having to defend what they saw as more lies by Johnson over his appointment of what Starmer called a “sexual predator”.

Johnson was confronted by members of his cabinet on Wednesday when he returned to Downing Street from a lengthy grilling by a parliamentary committee.

The delegation was said to include hardline interior minister Priti Patel.

 ‘Bye, Boris’

Attorney General Suella Braverman told ITV that while she would not resign, “the balance has tipped now in favour of saying… it’s time to go”.

She became the first Tory to say she would stand in a leadership contest but is a rank outsider according to bookmakers.

A culture of scandal has dogged Johnson for months, including lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.

The prime minister, who received a police fine for the Covid lockdown-breaking “Partygate” affair, faces a parliamentary probe into whether he lied to MPs about the revelations.

He only narrowly survived a no-confidence vote among Conservative MPs a month ago, which ordinarily would mean he could not be challenged again for another year.

But the influential “1922 Committee” of non-ministerial Tory MPs is reportedly seeking to change the rules, with its executive committee planning to elect a fresh line-up of members next week.

In parliament on Wednesday, Johnson vowed to carry on, insisting the country needed a “stable government”.

But addressing MPs, Javid urged other ministers to resign.

“The problem starts at the top, and I believe that is not going to change,” he told a hushed House of Commons.

Cries of “bye, Boris” echoed around the chamber at the end of his speech.

-AFP

Boris Johnson To Resign As British Conservative Party Leader

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 29, 2022 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to attend a Service of Thanksgiving for Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in central London.  AFP

 

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will on Thursday resign as leader of the Conservative Party, but he will continue as Prime Minister until the autumn.

A Conservative leadership race will take place this summer and a new Prime Minister will be in place in time for the Tory party conference in October.

It is the third day of a steady stream of resignations from Boris Johnson’s government, with over 50 members gone.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister was on the brink after two of his senior ministers quit in protest at his scandal-hit leadership, piling on the pressure as he faced a grilling from angry MPs.

READ ALSO: UK PM Johnson On The Brink Over Ministerial Resignations

The 58-year-old leader’s grip on power became more precarious within 10 short minutes on Tuesday night when Rishi Sunak resigned as finance minister and Sajid Javid quit as health secretary.

Both said they could no longer tolerate the culture of scandal that has stalked Johnson for months, including lockdown lawbreaking in Downing Street that enraged the public who followed the rules.

Sunak and Javid will now sit on the Conservative backbenches at the weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions at 1100 GMT, which promises to be even more combustible than usual.

Johnson then faces an hours-long grilling from the chairs of the House of Commons’ most powerful committees, who include some of his most virulent critics in the Tory ranks.

The exits of Sunak and Javid came just minutes after Johnson apologised for appointing a senior Conservative, who quit his post last week after he was accused of drunkenly groping two men.

Former education secretary Nadhim Zahawi was handed the finance brief. “You don’t go into this job to have an easy life,” Zahawi told Sky News on Wednesday.

“Sometimes it’s easy to walk away but actually, it’s much tougher to deliver for the country.”

 

UK PM Johnson On The Brink Over Ministerial Resignations

(FILES) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces two high-stakes encounters in parliament on July 6, 2022, after his government was rocked by the shock departures of two senior ministers. Rishi Sunak resigned as finance minister, and Sajid Javid as health secretary, with both saying they could no longer tolerate the culture of scandal that has stalked Johnson for months. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

 

 

Boris Johnson’s position as UK prime minister was on the brink on Wednesday, after two of his senior ministers quit in protest at his scandal-hit leadership, piling on pressure as he faced a grilling from angry MPs.

The 58-year-old leader’s grip on power became more precarious within 10 short minutes on Tuesday night, when Rishi Sunak resigned as finance minister and Sajid Javid quit as health secretary.

Both said they could no longer tolerate the culture of scandal that has stalked Johnson for months, including lockdown lawbreaking in Downing Street that enraged the public who followed the rules.

Sunak and Javid will now sit on the Conservative backbenches at the weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions at 1100 GMT, which promises to be even more combustible than usual.

Johnson then faces an hours-long grilling from the chairs of the House of Commons’ most powerful committees, who include some of his most virulent critics in the Tory ranks.

The exits of Sunak and Javid came just minutes after Johnson apologised for appointing a senior Conservative, who quit his post last week after he was accused of drunkenly groping two men.

Former education secretary Nadhim Zahawi was handed the finance brief. “You don’t go into this job to have an easy life,” Zahawi told Sky News on Wednesday.

“Sometimes it’s easy to walk away but actually, it’s much tougher to deliver for the country.”

– Challenge –
Days of shifting explanations had followed the resignation of deputy chief whip Chris Pincher. Downing Street at first denied Johnson knew of prior allegations against Pincher when appointing him in February.

But by Tuesday, that defence had collapsed after a former top civil servant said Johnson, as foreign minister, was told in 2019 about another incident involving his ally.

Minister for children and families Will Quince quit on Wednesday, saying he was given the inaccurate information before having to defend the government in a round of media interviews on Monday.

Junior transport minister Laura Trott quit at the same time, saying the government was fuelling a lack of “trust” in the government.

The Pincher affair was the “icing on the cake” for Sunak and Javid, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, a strident Johnson critic, told Sky News.

“I and a lot of the party now are determined that he will be gone by the summer recess (starting on July 22): the sooner the better.”

The resignations dominated the British media, with even some of Johnson’s staunchest newspaper backers doubting whether he could survive the fall-out.

Other senior cabinet ministers, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, still back Johnson, but many were wondering how long that may last.

Johnson only narrowly survived a no-confidence vote among Conservative MPs a month ago, which ordinarily would mean he could not be challenged again for another year.

But the influential “1922 Committee” of non-ministerial Tory MPs is reportedly seeking to change the rules.

– ‘Local difficulties’ –
Jacob Rees-Mogg, a doggedly loyal cabinet ally and Johnson’s “minister for Brexit opportunities” dismissed the resignations as “little local difficulties”.

“Losing chancellors is something that happens,” he said on Sky News, pointing to past Tory leaders — although Margaret Thatcher was ultimately felled by a cabinet revolt by top allies.

Sunak’s departure in particular, in the middle of policy differences over a cost-of-living crisis sweeping Britain, is dismal news for Johnson.

Johnson, who received a police fine for the so-called “Partygate” affair, faces a parliamentary probe into whether he lied to MPs about the revelations.

Pincher’s departure from the whips’ office — charged with enforcing party discipline and standards — marked yet another allegation of sexual misconduct by Tories in recent months, recalling the “sleaze” that dogged John Major’s government in the 1990s.

Conservative MP Neil Parish resigned in April after he was caught watching pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons.

That prompted a by-election in his previously safe seat, which the party went on to lose in a historic victory for the opposition Liberal Democrats.

Labour, the main opposition party, defeated the Conservatives in another by-election in northern England on the same day, prompted by the conviction of its Tory MP for sexual assault.

Boris Johnson Battles For Political Survival As Two More Ministers Resign

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks as he chairs a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London, on June 7, 2022. AFP

 

Two more ministers resigned from the UK government on Wednesday, piling further pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson following the departure of his health and finance ministers.

Will Quince, minister for children and families, said he had “no choice but to tender my resignation” while junior transport minister Laura Trott said she was quitting over a loss of “trust” in the government.

Details shortly…

If Putin Was A Woman, There Would Be No Ukraine War – Boris Johnson

A view of the city of Mariupol on June 2, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine.
STRINGER / AFP

 

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have started the war in Ukraine if he was a woman, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

“If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has,” Johnson told German broadcaster ZDF on Tuesday evening.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is “a perfect example of toxic masculinity”, he said, calling for better education for girls around the world and for “more women in positions of power”.

The British Prime Minister acknowledged that “of course people want the war to end”, but for the moment “there’s no deal available. Putin isn’t making an offer of peace”.

Western allies must support Ukraine to enable it to be in the best possible strategic position in the event that peace negotiations with Moscow do become possible, he added.

Johnson Showed ‘Lots Of Enthusiasm’ On Wider European Community Idea – Macron Office

A file photo: French President Emmanuel Macron (Photo by GONZALO FUENTES / POOL / AFP)

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson showed interest in France’s idea of creating a wider European political community beyond the EU during talks between the two countries’ leaders on Sunday, the French presidency said.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron saw “lots of enthusiasm” from his British counterpart who oversaw his country leaving the EU, when he spoke about the idea, a spokesman said.

The broader community could allow Britain to “reengage” with the bloc, he added.

More to follow…

Buhari Rules Out Bail Option For IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Nnamdi Kanu.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has ruled out the bail option for the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.

Instead, Buhari insisted that the IPOB leader should “justify all the uncomplimentary things he had been saying against Nigeria in Britain”.

“He felt very safe in Britain and said awful things against Nigeria. We eventually got him when he stepped out of the United Kingdom, and we sent him to court,” Buhari said during a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the margins of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

“Let him defend all that he has said there. His lawyers have access to him. Remember he jumped bail before, how are we sure he won’t do it again if he’s admitted to bail?”

READ ALSO: [2023] Person Who Tried Seeking Third Term Didn’t End Well, Buhari Tells UK Prime Minister

According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari also ruled out seeking a third term in office, claiming the person who attempted it did not end well in what many believe is a subtle reference to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“Another term for me? No!” he maintained. “The first person who tried it didn’t end very well.”

Aside from this, Johnson and Buhari also discussed security issues in Nigeria with the Nigerian leader linking the renewed wave of crimes in Nigeria to the crisis in Libya.

Buhari said the keenness of the PM to help Nigeria tackle insecurity is a good step but reiterated that since the fall of Muammar Gadaffi after 42 years in power, armed guards have been unleashed on countries in the Sahel.

These people, he said “are causing havoc everywhere, as the only thing they know how to do is to shoot guns”.

He, however, said the country is making progress in the fight against Boko Haram and other groups.

One of the steps being taken by the Nigerian government, he added, was educating that people that only an unserious person could kill innocent people, “and say Allah Akbar (God is Great). God is justice. You can’t take innocent souls, and ascribe it to God. And the education process is working, the people now understand Boko Haram as anti-God, and not about religion”.