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Boris Johnson Out As British Prime Minister Amid Recurring Scandals

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Boris Johnson

After months of defiance, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday amid a mass revolt by top members of his government. The move marks an end to three tumultuous years in power in which the messy 58-year-old politician brazenly bent and sometimes broke the rules of British politics.

Johnson, who took Britain out of the European Union and steered it through COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, stood outside No. 10 Downing St. and conceded that his party wanted him gone.

He was brought down by too many scandals, including one involving his appointment of a politician who had been accused of sexual misconduct.

On Thursday morning, he was forced to step down after one of his closest allies, newly appointed Treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi, publicly told him to resign for the good of the country.

“In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate,” Johnson said. “I regret not to have been successful in those arguments, and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.’’

About 50 Cabinet secretaries, ministers and lower-level officials had quit the government over the past few days, often castigating the prime minister for his lack of integrity.

Zahawi, who was promoted earlier this week as Johnson tried to shore up his Cabinet, said he and a group of colleagues had privately expressed their concerns to the prime minister on Wednesday and he decided to go public after Johnson ignored the advice to resign.

“The country deserves a government that is not only stable but which acts with integrity,” Zahawi said in a letter posted on Twitter.

It was a humiliating defeat for the perpetually rumpled, shaggy-haired leader known for answering his critics with bombast and bluster was also dogged by allegations he behaved as if the rules did not apply to him.

Watch Johnson’s statement below:

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