Boris Johnson resignation summary news: June 6
Boris Johnson resignation situation: live updates
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will step down as Conservative party leader. He is believed to want to remain in place until a new leader is found, probably in the autumn
- Conservative MPs call for Johnson to leave now and put a fresh caretaker PM in place
- Johnson is actively appointing replacements to his cabinet
- New Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi urged Johnson to 'do the right thing and go now'
- Northern Ireland Sec Brandon Lewis joins more than fifty members of Johnson's government that have stepped down since Tuesday
- Johnson fires Michael Gove after news emerges of Housing Secretary encouraging PM to quit, as had staunch ally Priti Patel
- PM appeared before the Liaison Committee and was questioned on his knowledge of Chris Pincher scandal
- PM had approved the appointment of Chris Pincher as Deputy Whip, despite accusations of sexual assault
Read some related stories...
Confirmed: Cleverly educating
The replacements continue as James Cleverly is appointed Education Secretary in a child-like merry-go-round.
As we mentioned earlier in this feed, Michelle Donelan resigned in the post this morning after only being appointed on Tuesday to replace Nadhim Zahawi when be became chancellor.
Cleverly was previously a minister of state at the Foreign Office and, at least, has an appropriate name for the new position.
Confirmed: Clark levelling up
We've now had confirmation from Downing Street that Greg Clark has indeed been appointed as Levelling Up Secretary.
Boris Johnson replacing lost team
You read that right. Like a cold-blooded mole-rat dipping its toe into a bowl of burning water, Johnson appears to be finding it rather challenging to take the temperature of the room at the moment. Not something we're particularly surprised about given his behaviour over recent years.
Steven Swinford from the Times is reporting that former business secretary Greg Clark is being handed the new levelling up secretary role as the PM looks to carry on regardless.
Cummings returns to call out Johnson "carnage"
Dominic Cummings, formerly Boris Johnson's right-hand man through Brexit and the pandemic, has taken to Twitter in recent minutes to join in the call for the PM to leave his position immediately. (Excuse the typos, font, shorthand, etc)
"Evict TODAY or he'll cause CARNAGE, even now he's playing for time & will try to stay No 'dignity', no 'interim while leadership contest'. Raab shd be interim PM by evening"
Shortly afterwards he followed up with:
"I know that guy & I'm telling you -he doesn't think it's over, he's thinking 'there's a war, weird shit happens in a war, play for time play for time, I can still get out of this, I got a mandate, members love me, get to September...' If MPs leave him in situ there'll be CARNAGE"
People will know that in the last seven of the 12 years I’ve been in Parliament I have provided leadership and organisation through really massive crises, whether it’s been Brexit or covid, race relations, net zero.
So, of course, I’ve taken a lot of calls and meetings with potential [supporters]. Now I’m seriously thinking whether I should do it because I got into politics because I thought I wanted an MP I always agreed with. Well, maybe I’d like a prime minister that could be counted on to do what I thought best.
So, I know what I’m looking for - fierce resolve, humility, integrity, a willingness to do what’s actually right for the long and short-term of this country.
So, of course, I’m seriously considering standing because ConservativeHome members consistently put me in their top 10, so I should respect them and take that seriously.
That British sarcasm
The Houses of Parliament are awash with sarcasm and humour, often used to take a dig at rival politicians.
And on a day like today, Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales, was able to take aim across the benches with ease.
When May ended in June
The last time we saw a UK prime minister announce their departure, after being firmly nudged out by their party, it was Teresa May in 2019.
May was replaced by Boris Johnson, who will soon be giving his version of that speech... possibly with a little more Latin.
'Just get Bor-exit done!'
It was a phrase we heard over and over again from Boris Johnson in his attempts to make a success out of his half-believed (remember the two opposing letters) split from the European Union.
As a failed leader, and danger to the Conservative party, his colleagues are coming out more and more to encourage a quick exit.
"Go means go," says Simon Hoare, the Conservative MP for North Dorset.
Pow: a 'values and integrity' blow to Johnson
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow shared her letter of resignation.
"Values, integrity and the morals by which I live are at stake, and the needs of the country must always come first."
Contradictions and hypocrisy
Owen Jones is as far from a Conservative supporter as you're likely to find but his finger pointing towards the hypocrisy from Johnson's inner circle is one that is gaining plenty of traction.
The big decisions now are all about the jostling for position in the leadership race and also whether or not Johnson should hand over to a caretaker leader rather than hold on.
Sturgeon reacts to Johnson resignation news
The leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, has tweeted her five-point statement in reaction to the news that Boris Johnson will resign.
1. There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the last few days (indeed months) will come to an end, though notion of Boris Johnson staying on as PM until autumn seems far from ideal, and surely not sustainable?
2. Boris Johnson was always manifestly unfit to be PM and the Tories should never have elected him leader or sustained him in office for as long as they have. But the problems run much deeper than one individual. The Westminster system is broken.
3. For the democratic deficit inherent in Westminster government doesn’t get fixed with a change of PM. None of the alternative Tory PMs would ever be elected in Scotland. And in policy terms, it is hard to see what real difference hard Brexit supporting Labour offers.
4. Independence only happens if a majority living in Scotland choose it - but there is no doubt it offers the real and permanent alternative to Westminster, and the opportunity to fulfil our potential at home and play our part as a good global citizen. It’s time for that choice.
5. Lastly, my differences with Boris Johnson are many and profound. But leadership is difficult and brings with it many stresses and strains, and so on a personal level I wish him and his family well.
Today is clearly a big win for the SNP.
It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister.
But it should have happened long ago.
He was always unfit for office.
He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale.
And all those who have been complicit should be utterly ashamed.
The Tory Party have inflicted chaos upon the country during the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
And they cannot now pretend they are the ones to sort it out ...
We don’t need to change the Tory at the top – we need a proper change of government.
We need a fresh start for Britain.
Johnson forced all those resignations
If you'd like more information on the string of resignations we have seen, including senior roles such as the chancellor and the health secretary, The Guardian has compiled this list with a summary...
For some reason there is a large and growing group of journalists outside the home of the prime minister.
We await the pitter patter of shiny feet...
Johnson gives sterling bump
Following the news that Boris Johnson would be resigning, the GB pound was trading higher. It was up 0.6% at 1.198 US dollars and up 0.4% at 1.174 euros.
MP Freeman calls for caretaker PM
Although the official statement we are expecting soon is likely to include the provision that Boris Johnson will remain in situ until the autumn as a new leader is found, some are saying 'go now!'
Science Minister George Freeman is asking him to apologise to the Queen and put a caretaker prime minister in place while the leader is agreed.
That would certainly change the news frenzy and would likely calm things down somewhat. Can't see Johnson going for it, though.
As James points out, it's rather ironic that Boris Johnson is about to put the seal on a stay in charge of the country as long as Neville Chamberlain.
For those less familiar with their British political history, Chamberlain was succeeded by Johnson's hero Churchill, and had a controversial reputation, initially in high regard but eventually eroded after being blamed by many for the Munich accord and for failing to prepare the country for war.
Boris Johnson official announcement
We are being told that there will be a formal announcement from Boris Johnson in the coming hours, almost certainly in front of the famous 10 Downing Street door.
So, who next?
Currently the favourites to be the next Prime Minister are as follows:
- MP Penny Mordaunt, current Minister of State for Trade Policy
- MP Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer
- MP Liz Truss, current Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
- MP Ben Wallace, current Secretary of State for Defence
- MP Jeremy Hunt, current Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee
But there are plenty of other runners and riders, including Nadhim Zahawi...
In the coming days, those MPs who have defended Boris Johnson to the hilt will be in for some tough questioning, much of which will be deflected, of course.
The Ukraine argument that Kevin Maguire reminds us of in his tweet has been repeated ad infinitum seems to have been forgotten.
Or maybe they reconsidered the question, 'Would you let a drunk driver continue driving just because they've been behind the wheel for the last few miles?'
Can Johnson really stay in situ?
Questions are immediately being asked by many who are wary about the damage that Boris Johnson can still do by remaining in his position while a new leader is found.
The fact that he didn't resign months ago, or even just days ago when the writing on the wall was so overwhelming that it covered all his expensive new decor, suggests he could act like an employee with access to the secret files.
Gardening leave, anyone?
Boris Johnson to resign as Conservative party leader
After speaking to Downing Street, Radio 4 have confirmed the news that Boris Johnson will stand down as Conservative party leader.
He will stay in place until the autumn while a new leader is found.
Brand new Education Minister reigns
Michelle Donelan has joined the very competitive race for 'least impact as a cabinet minister' award, as she resigns a day after being promoted to Education Minister, replacing Nadhim Zahawi in the reshuffle madness.
What comes next...
New Chancellor Zahawi turns on Johnson
After accepting the role of Chancellor yesterday, and appearing on TV and radio stations defending Boris Johnson, Nadhim Zahawi has now issued a letter saying that Boris Johnson should leave.
"Prime Minister: this is not sustainable and it will only get worse: for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly of all the country. You must do the right thing and go now."
Oh my! Some incredible stuff happening, let me get my notes in order...
These people are bad at government because they believe government is bad. For them, levelling up is a pretty slogan. Their real goal looks like self advancement. And when they finally leave, their only punishment is higher fees on the after-dinner circuit, a ludicrous book advance and their pick of City directorships.
'Save some anger for Johnson enablers'
The Guardian is hardly a fan of the Conservative party but tends to want the best for the country (amazing to consider that is not a fundamental position taken by all UK media!).
In this piece, Aditya Chakrabortty suggests that the British people shouldn't waste all their anger solely on Boris Johnson, and should hold some back for those who enabled him. Most are now jumping ship, but latest developments are nothing surprising, so why didn't they act earlier for the benefit of the country?
Courts' Minister Cartlidge snaps
James Cartlidge, member of Parliament for South Suffolk and Justice Minister, has said this morning that he's had enough too.
"I have felt duty bound to remain in post because of the very challenging situation in the Crown Court.
"But it’s clearly impossible to continue."
Read his full letter of resignation below.
Farage jokes at government resignations
With a half century of resignations already reached in Boris Johnson's government, former Brexit campaigner, who regularly cozied up to Donald Trump, Nigel Farage has taken to social media to crack a cricketing joke.
It will be interesting to look back on these last few years and see which of Farage and Johnson a) lied the most to the British people and b) caused the most damage to the UK.
Silence tells the real story
Normally at this time on a morning, UK government representatives are pushing policy, critiquing opponents or, especially more recently, defending the prime minister.
Today, however, there is nothing coming out of Number 10 Downing Street.
When this happens, it generally means that something is being worked on for a later announcement. Could that be the biggest resignation of all? Or an ingenious and cunning plan to save Boris Johnson?
Get Blackadder on standby...
Three more ministers resign
Lewis’ resignation has now been followed by those of Treasury minister Helen Whately, security minister Damian Hinds and science minister George Freeman.
“Enough is enough,” Freeman wrote. “This can’t go on.”
In her resignation letter, Whately said: “There are only so many times you can apologise and move on. That point has been reached.”
Northern Ireland sec resigns
The Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, has become the latest cabinet minister to step down, telling Boris Johnson in his resignation letter that his government is now “past the point of no return”.
“A decent and responsible Government relies on honesty, integrity and mutual respect - it is a matter of profound personal regret for me that I must leave Government as I no longer believe those values are being upheld,” Lewis wrote.
Matt Hancock rules himself out of the running for Prime Minister
Boris Johnson is not letting go of his primership, at least that's what he told a group of senior cabinet ministers that came to Downing Street to tell him his time was up. Michael Gove, who was among them got sacked.
While the UK awaits to see what the next move will be, there is talk of who could replace Boris as Prime Minister. One person who says it won't be him is former health secretary Matt Hancock.
Tory MP shares why he withdrew support from Boris Johnson
Despite surviving a vote of confidence last month after a report was released on the findings into "Partygate" the British Prime Minister is facing his most serious challenge to his leadership. After numerous scandals, the latest was just a bridge too far prompting the resignation of three ministers, with Johnson firing a fourth, and dozens of Tory MPs withdrawing their support.
Lee Anderson shared why after all that came before this time was different.
"I think he's a good man, I think the boss is a good man, he's done good things, he got me my job here. This is like dumping on a member of your family, it's not an easy thing to do. But at the end of the day you've got to do what the right thing is."
"We see the actions of last week where a minister was promoted when we, when actually Number 10 knew what was going off in the past but just sort of swept it under the rug. You can't do that. It's not acceptable and I couldn't live with myself if I said nothing."
Resignations from Boris Johnson government mount up
Throughout Wednesday the number of resignations from Boris Johnson's government have been racking up as confidence in his leadership has tumbled. The exodus began the day before when two of his top ministers, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, told Johnson they could no longer form part of his cabinet.
The total now is at least 38 and the Prime Minister's hold on power has come into question. Johnson has told his remaining ministers that he plans to conitue in his post. Reportedly Michael Gove told Johnson that he should step down, he was promptly fired by the PM.
Brandon Lewis, Northern Ireland Secretary, resigns
Brandon Lewis, Northern Ireland Secretary, went to Downing Street on Wednesday to tell Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister. However, Johnson reportedly has told a meeting of his ministers that he plans to stay. Lewis said he has had enough.
Boris Johnson clinging on to power despite class to resign from staunch allies
Boris Johnson has managed to wiggle his way through numerous scandals even seeing of a confidence vote last month. However, the latest revelations that Johnson was aware of accusations of sexual misconduct by Chris Pincher when he was promoted to the position of deputy chief whip, while telling his ministers the contrary, has prompted the resignation of top members of his government.
Even one of his closest allies, Priti Patel, has reportedly told him he must step down as Prime Minister. However, Johnson shows no signs that he is going nowhere, saying that it is his "job" to carry on in "difficult circumstances."
Scandals that have plagues the premiership of Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson entered 10 Downing Street at the end of July 2019 after his fellow Tory predecessor Theresa May stepped down over a failure to resolve the conditions of Brexit with the European Union.Starting in 2020, as the United Kingdom was plagued by covid-19, Johnson's government has been plagued by scandals.
After a damning report was issued on "Partygate", a series of ‘gatherings’ that took place at 10 Downing Street during the covid-19 lockdowns that went against not only the restrictions in place for the pandemic but also potentially the law as well, he faced a vote of confidence. He saw that off by a narrow margin, however yet another sex scandal was the straw that broke the camel's back prompting the resignation of over 30 members of his party including several top ministers in his cabinet.
I have today resigned as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Defra. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the trouble to share their views with me in recent months.
I continue to serve the people of Bracknell, Crowthorne, Finchampstead, Sandhurst and Wokingham Without to the best of my ability.
Boris Johnson in hot seat with Commons liaison committee says he met ex-KGB agent alone while Foreign Minister
Boris Johnson, the embattled UK Prime Minister after more than 30 members of his party have handed him their resignations, sat for questioning in front of the Commons liaison committee.
When asked if he had met with former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev while at the Foreign Office, and pressed if he was having another lapse of memory, he says he did, in Italy.
When asked if he met the ex-KGB agent alone without UK officials, he responded in the affirmative.
Asked whether he reported the meeting to officials, Johnson said, 'I think I did.'
Watch Boris Johnson v Kier Starmer: PMQs highlights from today
The under-fire Prime Minister faced an onslaught in the House of Commons today as his opposite number, Labour Leader Kier Starmer, ripped into him in the aftermath of numerous key figures in Boris Johnson's government. These highlights show some of the best bits of the Parliamentary session, one which could be Johnson's final in his current role.
"I do fear the reset button can only work so many times, there's only so many times you can turn that machine on and off before you realise something is fundamentally wrong."
"Last month, I gave the benefit of doubt one last time but I have concluded that the problem starts at the top and I believe that it is not going to change."
"It is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership - and you have therefore lost my confidence too."
A young Boris Johnson outlines his gaffe tactics
Boris Johnson has held public office for more than two decades and has recorded a number of high-profile errors and very public blunders. Despite all that, he won a landslide victory at the 2019 general election and has led the government for the past three years.
How? Well this old video footage suggests that the gaffes may have been a big part of his success, forging the 'loveable rogue' persona that saw him win out in 2019.
Boris Johnson flounders in Liaison Committee meeting
We may be witnessing the final hours of the Boris Johnson government after a gruelling session of the Parliamentary Liaison Committee, in which he was pressed on exactly what he knew about the Chris Pincher scandal that has seen him lose the support of countless members of his own party. In this exchange, he struggles to respond to Chris Bryant MP's questions about his own comments on Pincher, who has had a sexual assault allegation against him upheld by a Parliamentary investigation.
How many people of resigned from the UK government?
As one eagle-eyed viewer spotted, the ongoing news broadcast by the BBC now features an unusual addittion: a live resignation tracker!
The UK government, which is led by Boris Johnson, has been rocked in recent hours with a spate of key resignations and widespread opposition to the continued leadership of Johnson. We're up to 32 now and many news sources are reporting that numerous other ministers - including Nadhim Zahawi, the man appointed as Chancellor by Johnson only yesterday - are waiting to meet him tonight to ask him to quit.
"When a regime has been in power too long, when it has fatally exhausted the patience of the people, and when oblivion finally beckons – I am afraid that across the world you can rely on the leaders of that regime to act solely in the interests of self-preservation, and not in the interests of the electorate."
WATCH: Boris Johnson faces calls to resign at Liasons Committee
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a grilling at the Liason Committee, in which he meets with the representatives from different Parliamentary Select Committees. Normally this meeting is a fairly mild-mannered affair, but the PM is being questioned over his knowledge of the Chris Pincher scandal and his suitability to continue as the leader of the United Kingdom.
Chief Whip is reportedly at No. 10, Downing Street
Reports suggest that Chris Heaton-Harris MP, the Conservative Party Chief Whip and an extremely influence voice in government, is currently at No. 10, Downing Street as the pressure on the PM grows. Boris Johnson is facing massive calls to resign from the role after lying to members of his own government over sexual assault allegations directed towards his Deputy Whip Chris Pincher.
Boris apologises! Again...
UK Prime Minister has an extensive history of gaffes and blunders while in public office and a number of high-level scandals. In the past day he has apologised for misinforming the public over his decision to appoint MP Chris Pincher as deputy whip despite an ongoing sexual assault complaint against him, which was later proved to be founded.
He has been forced to give multiple apologies, heres some of the most recent...
Insiders claim more resignations will follow if Johnson remains
The number of Conservative MP's to have resigned from governmental roles over the continued leadership of Boris Johnson now exceeds 30 after a raft of letters have been sent in the past 24 hours. Bloomberg News journalist Alex Wickham reports that many more letters of resignation could well follow if Boris Johnson does not agree to fall on his sword and allow another member of his party to take over as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Boris Johnson's own government turn against him
Throughout his controversy-ridden political career Boris Johnson has polarised opinions in the UK and across the world, but he has always been able to count on his own voters to support him though thick and thin. However that stream of support may be running dry as a new poll found that more than half of the voters who put him into power in 2019 now want him gone.
Johnson faces a Liason Committee girlling amid resignation calls
Boris Johnson's day is only getting worse as he flounders through a tough session of the Liason Committee, which has seen him asked about integrity in politics, war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis that is facing the UK. These questions have little to do with the ongoing pressures engulfing his government but serve as a reminder that Johnson has many opponents.
More resignations seem to signal the end for Johnson
The number of Conservative MPs to have resigned in opposition to Boris Johnson's continued leadership has risen to 31, a huge chunk of his parliamentary party and a number of key figures in his own government. The latest to do so was Minister for Safeguarding Rachel MacClean, who said that he must resign "for the good of our country and our party."
On Tuesday evening both the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid announces their resignations from the UK government. Both called into question the leadership of Boris Johnson whose government has been mired in a series of scandals since taking over the job of Prime Minister.
The British PM saw off a vote of no confidence in early June after a damning report was issued about “Partygate”, a series of ‘gatherings’ that took place at 10 Downing Street during the covid-19 lockdowns that went against not only the restrictions in place for the pandemic but also potentially the law as well.
Labour MPs wave goodbye to Boris JOhnson
Boris Johnson faced a grilling unlike anything seen in his time in power today as Labour leader Keir Starmer stuck the boot in over the spate of resignations over the PM's behaviour. The 30-minute session ended with the Labour front bench waving farewell to the man who they believe will be leaving his job very soon.
Key ministers tells Boris Johnson to resign, reports claim
Michael Gove, a key member of Johnson's government and a significant figure in the Tory Party, has called the Prime Minister to ask him to resign, according to a report in the Daily Mail. The PM has faced renewed pressure to resign in the past 24 hours and a raft of resignations after he was found to have lied about his knowledge of the sexual assault claims against his former deputy whip Chris Pincher.
Welcome to AS USA
We'll be bringing you all the latest from the UK as PM Boris Johnson is currently on the brink as yet another scandal clouds his government. Dozens of ministers have publically announced their resignation and many more are expected to follow.