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Bye Bye, Boris

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

British Prime Minister steps down as Conservative leader

Boris Johnson resigned as leader of Britain's Conservative "Tory" party leader today, citing pressure from fellow party members driven by a series of scandals he's faced since 2020. The outspoken leader had held the position, as well as that of Prime Minister, since July of 2019. Johnson said he would remain Prime Minister until a successor was named, but even that pledge was met with much resistance by members of Parliament.

Boris Johnson waves goodbye to his audience after announcing his resignation July 7.—The Guardian photo.

All of this comes at a precarious time for world politics: the Russo-Ukraine War has shifted to a protracted conflict; religious tensions are rising sharply in India, the world's largest democracy; China-Taiwan relations remain combustible; and the United States prepares for midterm elections with a population boiling in unrest over multiple governmental issues including abortion rights, gun control, and climate change.

Why is Johnson leaving? According to his colleagues—past and present—it's due to character flaws, not policy. A large number of staffers and aides had resigned in protest over the past week, and public polls showed at least half the country did not trust its leader. This is primarily due to his involvement in a number of scandals, namely: holding private parties during the strictest stage of his country's COVID lockdown in 2020 and recently promoting a lawmaker who he knew had been accused of sexual harassment. The list goes on, making it difficult to remember this is the same Prime Minister who succeeded in engineering Brexit.

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