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Boris Johnson resigns as party leader

Boris Johnson resigned as the Conservative party leader on July 7. He will remain prime minister until Conservatives choose a replacement. (Video: Reuters)
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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative Party leader Thursday after his own government quit en masse amid a rash of political scandals.

His departure capped a volatile week of high-stakes drama within the Conservative Party, which now faces a leadership struggle. Johnson announced his plans to step down outside his official London residence at No. 10 Downing Street, adding that he would stay on as caretaker prime minister until a replacement is chosen.

A growing number of embarrassing revelations had prompted several cabinet ministers to leave their posts and publicly urge Johnson to stand down. The prime minister was under fire for everything from promoting an ally accused of sexual misconduct to hosting raucous parties at Downing Street while the rest of Britain was under coronavirus lockdown.

Johnson initially refused to concede power, digging in for days as lawmakers accused him of plunging Britain into a near constitutional crisis. But on Thursday he told the British public he was “sad” to be “giving up the best job in the world,” and promised to support the new leader, remarking in his characteristically upbeat manner that the future of the United Kingdom remained “golden.”

Here’s what else to know

  • Here’s a list of key contenders who could be the next prime minister.
  • Johnson did not apologize for his behavior and blamed his parliamentary party for his quick downfall, comparing his fellow lawmakers to stampeding animals.
  • Opposition leaders from the Labour Party and Scottish National Party among others have welcomed the “good news.”
  • Scandals followed Boris Johnson until the end. Find out how he got to this point.