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UK’s Boris Johnson resigns

Britain will now choose a new Prime Minister after Boris Johnson resigned Thursday. The development comes as Johnson’s conservative party enjoys the largest majority in Parliament since the days of Margaret Thatcher.

Johnson was brought down after pressure from his own party over policy and personal scandals. Many of his constituents felt the government overstepped its authority by instituting draconian pandemic mitigation efforts. It didn’t help that inflation is running rampant there as well.

Johnson addressed the nation from 10 Downing Street in London in ear-shot of protesters. He was forced from power by an open rebellion in his own Conservative ranks, with dozens of ministers and top party officials saying they could no longer serve under him.

It was not immediately clear if Johnson would leave immediately or whether he would stay in the post until the Conservatives select a new leader. There is currently no front-runner within the party to replace him.

Johnson‘s standing was badly hurt by revelations that he and his staff had participated in a string of lockout-defying social events, including some at 10 Downing Street, at a time when the government was enforcing strict curfew measures in Britain.

A no-confidence vote pressed by Conservative backbenchers last month gained significant support but fell short. Johnson in recent days had vowed to press ahead, arguing the country could not afford a leadership vacuum while dealing with inflation at home and the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war abroad.

But a fresh scandal, involving the failed appointment of a minister whom the prime minister’s office knew had had past ethical problems including having made unwanted homosexual advances toward two men. It became too much in June with more than 40 cabinet ministers resigning.

–Wire services