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When is Boris Johnson leaving and when will the next Prime Minister be announced?

The announcement came on Thursday, as Johnson stood outside Number 10 and said he had been unable to convince others he should stay.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 07: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement outside 10 Downing Street announcing his resignation as the leader of the Conservative Party as he intends to stay on as caretaker Prime Minister until a new leader is elected in autumn in London, United Kingdom on July 07, 2022. (Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu AgencyGetty

It looks as though Boris Johnson’s time as Prime Minister has come to an end. Or at least it’s almost there.

On Thursday, he stepped out of his temporary home, and occasional party venue, of 10 Downing Street to announce to the country and the rest of the world that his tenure as leader of the Conservative party was over. There was no mention of all the scandals that led to this moment, but instead began by explaining how he had tried his best to convince other Conservatives to let him continue, but was disappointed they didn’t agree.

The question now is the timeline.

When will Boris Johnson leave as PM?

“It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister, and I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week. And I’ve today appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will, until the new leader is in place.”

That opening gambit from Johnson’s speech clearly shows that the wallpaper will not be getting changed any time soon. Or at least not if he can help it.

It does, though, remain unclear just how long Johnson will stay in his position. Normal practice is that he would indeed remain in place until a replacement is found and agreed upon by the party. The same process happened with predecessors Teresa May and David Cameron.

Some, though, have argued that he lacks the respect and authority to drive forward with the work that needs done, while others point to the fact that he could be a major threat to national security, especially after he admitted on Wednesday to meeting with a top KGB officer without other government agents, failing to report the meeting to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as he should have done.

There is a way in which the Houses of Parliament could collectively remove Johnson earlier than he wishes, assuming those close to him cannot convince him to go voluntarily and install a caretaker PM in his place.

Opposition leader, Sir Keir Starmer has already stated that he would call for a vote of no confidence. This would see all MPs vote and a simple majority would be decisive.

When will the new PM take over and who could it be?

It’s worth noting that parliament goes into recess at the end of July so time is of the essence for those looking to remove Johnson from power quickly. Someone from his own party, will take over as both the Conservative leader and leader of the country. So it’s an inter-party contest not a general election.

The leadership contest would take place in two stages. Firstly, Conservative MPs can put their names forward for the role and will be whittled down to two candidates by fellow members of the parliamentary party.

Once the two final candidates have been decided, the vote will then be put to the wider party membership which consists of Conservative-supporting citizens across the country. The winner will become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Currently the favourites to be the next Prime Minister are as follows:

- MP Nadhim Zaahaqi, former Chancellor of the Exchequer

- 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

Current estimates are that it would be decided around the time of the Conservative Party Conference in October.