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LONDON — Boris Johnson will resign after a wave of government resignations and a revolt from his own Cabinet left him unable to carry on.
The U.K. prime minister — who spearheaded the campaign for Brexit and led his party to an emphatic election victory in December 2019 — will be stepping aside soon, teeing up a race to replace him as head of the governing Conservative party, according to a close ally.
“The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today,” said a No. 10 Downing Street spokesperson.
The move follows days of high drama in Westminster, which began with the resignation of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid and was followed by a spate of exits that rippled through the government ranks. A delegation of senior ministers — including a chancellor Johnson had appointed less than a day before — visited the prime minister Wednesday night to tell him the game was up.
Johnson’s government had been in crisis mode for months.
A string of revelations, first about coronavirus lockdown-busting parties attended by key figures at the top of British politics, including Johnson himself, and later concerning the government’s poor handling of successive allegations of abusive behavior by Conservative MPs, shook Johnson’s grip on power.
Just hours before it emerged he was quitting, Johnson had defiantly vowed to fight on, telling MPs in the House of Commons that he had “a colossal mandate” from voters and wanted “to keep going.”