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British PM, Johnson throws in the towel

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By cecilia.odey

London, July 7, 2022 (dpa/NAN) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is quitting as Conservative Party leader after ministers and lawmakers made clear his position was untenable due to growing anger about his handling of alleged misconduct by different party members.

Johnson will remain as prime minister until a successor is in place, expected to be by the time of the Conservative Party conference in October.

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A Downing Street . said Johnson spoke to Graham Brady, chairperson of the Conservative 1922 Committee, to inform him of his decision.

“The prime minister has spoken to Graham Brady and agreed to stand down in time for a new leader to be in place by the conference in October,’’ the . said.

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Johnson is expected to make a statement later today confirming the decision.

Johnson had already been weakened by anger about Partygate, in which his administration was accused of hosting parties on government property despite government guidance to avoid social gatherings due to the pandemic.

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Then allegations arose that he had picked Chris Pincher for key party roles in spite of knowing about accusations of sexual misconduct against Pincher.

Johnson’s resignation came after the prime minister haemorrhaged support among his ministers and member of his Tory party.

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More than 50 lawmakers have resigned from government or party roles since Tuesday night when the mass exodus was triggered by the resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid from the Cabinet.
The prime minister had sought to defy his critics and carry on in the office, in spite of warnings from Cabinet colleagues that this was not sustainable.
But resignations continued and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi who was only appointed to the role on Tuesday, went public with his call for the prime minister to quit.

The timetable for the Tory leadership contest would be agreed upon between the 1922 Committee, which ran the parliamentary proceedings to whittle the candidates down to two, and Conservative headquarters.

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But critics of the prime minister suggested he should not be allowed to remain in office until October.

George Freeman, who quit as science minister on Thursday, said that now Johnson had finally done the decent thing, he should hand in the seals of office, and apologise to her majesty.

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“To allow her to appoint a caretaker under whom ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader properly.’’ (dpa/NAN)

Earliers: Johnson’s woes deepen as another cabinet member resigns

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(dpa/NAN) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday suffered further Cabinet defections.
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis as more members of his party said he should go for mishandling allegations of misconduct by an official.

Lewis told Johnson that the government required honesty, integrity and mutual respect and that it has now passed the point of no return.

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His resignation early on Thursday, came just hours after former Johnson ally Suella Braverman, the attorney general, also publicly urged the prime minister to go.

Johnson rejected calls to quit on Wednesday and dramatically sacked Cabinet rival Michael Gove.
But he was later hit with the departure of a third Cabinet minister, Welsh Secretary Simon Hart.

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Johnson met ministers in No 10 on Wednesday, w. he was told he has lost the confidence of the Conservative Party and should not continue in office but refused to listen.

Gove is thought to have told the Prime Minister early on Wednesday that it was time for him to quit.

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That was followed by a delegation of Cabinet ministers going to Downing Street to tell Johnson he should stand down after losing the trust of lawmakers from his own party.

They included Home Secretary Priti Patel, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Northern Ireland Secretary Lewis and Welsh Secretary Hart.

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Allies including Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg remained supportive of the Prime Minister.
Johnson faces the prospect of another confidence vote, orchestrated by the Tory 1922 Committee of backbench lawmakers.

A new executive for the committee would be elected on Monday and could change the leadership rules, allowing for another confidence vote just a month after the last one.

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The prime minister may lose given the way party members have deserted him since Tuesday. (dpa/NAN)

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