A full British cabinet team has been appointed, BBC Political Editor Chris Mason said on Twitter, ahead of the expected resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson will announce his resignation as British Prime Minister on Thursday, a government source said, after he was abandoned by ministers and his Conservative Party’s lawmakers who said he was no longer fit to govern.
With eight ministers, including two secretaries of state, resigning in the last two hours, an isolated and powerless Johnson was set to bow to the inevitable and declare his was stepping down later.
His Downing Street office confirmed that Johnson would make a statement to the country later.
The prime minister, who had rebuffed calls by his Cabinet to step down in the wake of ethics scandals, spoke to Queen Elizabeth as a courtesy ahead of the impending announcement about his resignation plan, ITV Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana said.
Keir Starmer, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, who earlier on Thursday said that news of Johnson’s expected resignation was “good news for the country,” said the Labour Party will call a parliamentary no confidence vote in Johnson's government if his Conservative Party does not get rid of him immediately.
“His own party have finally concluded that he’s unfit to be prime minister,” Starmer said. “If they don’t get rid of him, then Labour will step up in the national interest and bring a vote of no confidence because we can’t go on with this prime minister clinging on for months and months to come.”
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It was not immediately clear Thursday whether Johnson would stay in office while the Conservative Party chooses a new leader, who will replace him as prime minister.
The ebullient Johnson came to power nearly three years ago, promising to deliver Britain’s departure from the European Union and rescue it from the bitter wrangling that followed the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Since then, some Conservatives had enthusiastically backed the former journalist and London mayor while others, despite reservations, supported him because he was able to appeal to parts of the electorate that usually rejected their party.
That was borne out in the December 2019 election. But his administration’s combative and often chaotic approach to governing and a series of scandals have exhausted the goodwill of many of his lawmakers while opinion polls show he is no longer popular with the public at large.
The recent crisis erupted after lawmaker Chris Pincher, who held a government role involved in pastoral care, was forced to quit over accusations he groped men in a private member’s club.
Johnson had to apologize after it emerged that he was briefed that Pincher had been the subject of previous sexual misconduct complaints before he appointed him. The prime minister said he had forgotten.
This followed months of scandals and missteps, including a damning report into boozy parties at his Downing Street residence and office that broke strict COVID-19 lockdown rules and saw him fined by police over a gathering for his 56th birthday.
There have also been policy U-turns, an ill-fated defense of a lawmaker who broke lobbying rules, and criticism that he has not done enough to tackle inflation, with many Britons struggling to cope with rising fuel and food prices.
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