Boris Johnson resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
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BORIS Johnson has resigned as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Mr Johnson has been under immense pressure from his Conservative Party colleagues to stand down over the last 48 hours – with more than 50 members of the government resigning.
This morning, Nadhim Zahawi, the newly-elected chancellor of the exchequer, called for Mr Johnson to go, while new education secretary Michelle Donelan resigned after just 36 hours in her post.
Speaking this afternoon outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: "It is clearly now the will of the Conservative Party that there should be a new Prime Minister.
"The process of choosing a new leader should begin now. I have today appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new government is in place.
"I want to say thank you for the biggest Conservative majority since 1987. The reason I have fought so hard was because I felt it was my job, duty and obligation to do what we promised in 2019.
"I'm immensely proud of the achievements of this government – getting Brexit done, reclaiming the power of this country, getting through pandemic and delivering the fastest vaccine roll out in Europe.
"I want to say to the people in Ukraine, we will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.
"To the new leader, whoever he or she may be, I will give you my full support."
Moray's Conservative MP Douglas Ross has previously backed calls for the Prime Minister to resign – although changed his position briefly, calling for stability after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Johnson was elected Prime Minister on July 24, 2019. His statement insinuates that, having named a new cabinet, he will remain Prime Minister until a new leader is elected, but his resignation will trigger a leadership race.
Moray's SNP MSP Richard Lochhead, however, has called for Mr Johnson to resign immediately – and for Moray MP Douglas Ross to apologise for backing his bid to be Prime Minister in 2019.
"If Boris Johnson is allowed to remain in his post until October, he will now oversee a summer of chaos leading a paralysed government while the Tory party selects a new Prime Minister," Mr Lochhead said.
"Tory MPs, including Moray MP Douglas Ross, put Boris Johnson into office and then scurried to be on the side of righteousness once they saw which way the wind was blowing.
"Mr Ross should apologise to Moray for backing Boris Johnson for Prime Minister despite being warned about his character and lack of integrity.
"So much damage has resulted from one of the sorriest episodes in political history.
“However, the problems with Westminster run far deeper than just Boris Johnson and Scotland deserves better and must have the opportunity to choose a different path.”
Boris Johnson has visited Moray twice in recent years – once prior to his election in 2019, when he visited Roseisle Maltings, and once after, when he visited RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Kinloss and Baxters.