Boris Johnson on Thursday resigned his position as the British Prime Minister amid mounting scandals and mass resignation of ministers.
In June Johnson survived a no-confidence vote after threats to topple him emerged from within his own party.
He managed to garner the support of 211 out of 359 Conservative lawmakers, or 59%. This is lower than Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, received after a similar vote in 2018. Theresa May resigned over six months later after the vote.
Johnson said he will stay in office until the Conservatives choose a new party 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. “But as we have seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves.”
Here are the five things that led to the resignation of Johnson who led the conservatives to their biggest election victory less than three years ago.
The Chris Pincher affair
Chris Pincher who was the Conservative deputy chief whip went to a private members’ club in London on Wednesday 29 June. In his words, he “drank far too much” and “embarrassed himself.”
Pincher was accused of groping two men, leading to series of allegations, some dating back years. It set off a chain of events that ended with the prime minister’s downfall.
Initially, the Downing Street said the the Prime Minister Boris Johnson was not aware of “specific allegations” about Mr Pincher before appointing him as deputy chief whip in February. However, Johnson later admitted that he had been informed about Pincher in 2019 following a BBC’s report. He then apologized for appointing Mr Pincher as deputy chief whip..
Boris Johnson was in April cut up in scandal after it emerged he had attended parties that break the lockdown rule he imposed. He was fined for breaking lockdown rules, after attending a gathering on his birthday in June 2020.
Johnson who had December told the Commons that “all guidance was followed completely in No 10” also apologised for going to a “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown.
He is now being investigated by the Commons committee over whether he knowingly misled Parliament.
The cost of living crisis – and a tax rise
UK inflation is currently at 9.1% following to a sharp rise in 2022. The rise is being blamed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine which led to rise in oil prices and cost foods.
Despite the rising inflation that bites deep in peoples’ pockets, Johnson led government in April implemented a tax rise in April. It said the tax rise would be used to pay for health and social care.
“In the middle of the worst cost of living crisis for decades,” said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in April, “the government chooses to increase taxes on working people.”
Owen Paterson row
In October 2021, a 30-day suspension was recommended by the House of Commons committee for then-Conservative MP Owen Paterson who was accused of breaking lobbying rules, to try to benefit companies who paid him.
However, Conservatives – led by the prime minister – voted to pause Paterson’s suspension, and set up a new committee to look at how investigations were carried out.
Paterson later resigned following an outcry and Johnson admitted that he had “crashed the car” in his handling of the case.
Lack of Focus and ideas
Johnson has been accused by his critics and opposition that there is lack of focus and ideas in Downing Street.
In June, Conservative MP and former minister Jeremy Hunt accused Mr Johnson of lacking “integrity, competence, and vision,” while speaking before a confidence vote, which Mr Johnson won.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.
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