Boris Johnson to resign later today

Boris Johnson to resign later today

BORIS JOHNSON is to resign as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom today, following scores of resignations and a lack of confidence from MPs.

He is set to publicly announced his resignation later today, the BBC is reporting.

He will remain in place as prime minister until a successor is put in place, which is expected to be by the time the Conservative Party conference takes place in October.

A No 10 source said Mr Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, chairman 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,” a No 10 source said.

Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer Nadhim Zahawi earlier told Mr Johnson to resign on Thursday, less than 48 hours after the prime minister promoted him, saying the crisis engulfing the government would only get worse.

“This is not sustainable and it will only get worse, for you, for the Conservative Party and most importantly of all the country,” Mr Zahawi said on Twitter after more than 50 ministers and aides resigned from the government.

“You must do the right thing and go now.”

Earlier on Thursday, Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis resigned from Johnson’s government following the UK prime minister’s rejection of calls from his cabinet to stand down.

"I have given you, and those around you, the benefit of the doubt," he said to the Johnson in his resignation letter. "We are, however, now past the point of no return. I cannot sacrifice my personal integrity to defend things as they stand now. It is clear that our Party, parliamentary colleagues, volunteers and the whole country, deserve better."

Following Lewis' resignation, Sinn Féin First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has said the formation of an Executive and political stability in the north cannot be held hostage by "Tory infighting and chaos" at Westminster.

“Brandon Lewis abandoned any pretence of acting with the ‘rigorous impartiality’ required of him under the Good Friday Agreement," she said.

“He has shamefully placated the DUP by giving them political cover in denying the electorate the democratic representation they are entitled to.

“He has undermined the Good Friday Agreement and political stability and his actions gave us a daily reminder why those with no mandate or votes here will only ever act in their own political interests, and not ours."

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has welcomed the news of Johnson's resignation, saying he has "debased the office he holds."

"He has fundamentally and indelibly damaged public confidence in politics and public life and his death grip on power has prolonged a period of government that will be characterised by law-breaking, scandal and sleaze. He should now leave government immediately."

Eastwood said relationships across the islands of Ireland and Britain "would be far better served by a new administration led by the Labour Party."

"An administration that understands the layered complexities of identity and politics in the North and the need to build enduring relationships with partners across Ireland, Britain, Europe and North America. The current Tory administration has proven itself uniquely incapable of distinguishing between the public interest and their own narrow political interest and their time in government is up."