Boris Johnson, who recently resigned from the post of Conservative Party leader, will continue to serve as Britain PM until his successor is chosen, international media reported.
Johnson’s resignation caps a remarkable political career filled with highs, lows and almost too many scandals to count, Washingon based National Public Radio reported.
Johnson will stay in office until the Conservative Party chooses a new leader, who will then take over as prime minister.
“Of course, it is painful to not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects,” Johnson said in front of the door of No 10 Downing St in London, as loud crowds could be heard nearby, as per NPR report.
“But as we have seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves,” the report quoted Johnson further saying.
The announcement comes after dozens of officials, aides and members of his Cabinet quit his government, saying they could no longer serve under his leadership. Several former Cabinet ministers told him he should resign.
Lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party credit him with driving Brexit through the British Parliament after his predecessor, Theresa May, was unable to.
He also led the Tories to a historic landslide election in 2019, leaving the party with an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons. It was the largest victory since Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s win in 1987.
Johnson, however, was ultimately forced to resign not over policy or political differences, but because of perceptions about his character, the report said.
Many Conservative lawmakers as well many members of the public do not trust him. A poll last month by the research firm YouGov found nearly 3 in 4 Britons viewed Johnson as untrustworthy.
The same pollster found this week that 69% believe Johnson should resign.
The scandal that ultimately ended his nearly three-year premiership was triggered by his decision to promote a lawmaker, Chris Pincher, to a position of power even though Johnson knew Pincher had been the subject of a sexual harassment complaint, NPR reported.
Initially, the prime minister’s office said Johnson had not known about any specific allegations. On Monday, after more allegations emerged against the lawmaker, Johnson was forced to acknowledge that he had. Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former chief adviser with whom he has had a bitter falling out, said Johnson had referred to the lawmaker as “Pincher by name, pincher by nature.”
Johnson did not deny he used that phrase and apologized for appointing Pincher.
Pincher resigned last week as deputy chief whip in the House of Commons over the scandal. Johnson suspended him from the party, meaning Pincher could not sit with fellow Conservatives in Parliament.