Boris Johnson renunció como primer ministro del Reino Unido / Boris Johnson quits as UK prime minister, dragged down by scandals

El mandatario tomó la decisión tras las bajas masivas en su gabinete y la pérdida de apoyo en el propio Partido Conservador, pero seguirá en su cargo hasta que se elija un sustituto

Boris Johnson, bajo una insoportable presión tras perder el apoyo de su Partido Conservador británico a raíz de incesantes escándalos, dimitió el jueves como líder de la formación, pero seguirá en el cargo de primer ministro hasta que sea elegido su sucesor.

“Es claramente la voluntad del grupo parlamentario conservador que haya un nuevo líder del partido y, por tanto, un nuevo primer ministro”, reconoció Johnson al anunciar su renuncia en un mensaje a la nación frente a la célebre puerta negra del número 10 de Downing Street.

Johnson, que apareció rodeado por sus más cercanos colaboradores, además de su mujer Carrie con una de sus hijas, subrayó que el proceso para reemplazarlo ya se ha iniciado y que la semana que viene se ofrecerá un calendario. Sin embargo, recordó que hasta que los conservadores elijan a un nuevo líder él seguirá al frente del Gobierno de forma interina, pese a que son muchos dentro y fuera de su partido que le reclaman que se marche ya.

El Partido Conservador deberá ahora elegir durante el verano a un nuevo dirigente para reemplazar al premier, probablemente a partir de octubre, como su líder y por consiguiente como jefe del gobierno.

Johnson, de 58 años, anunció que dejaría el cargo después de una serie de renuncias de su equipo principal en protesta por su liderazgo. Reconoció que en las últimas horas intentó convencer a su Gobierno de que sería “extraño” reemplazarlo ahora y lamentó haber “fracasado” en esas discusiones, al tiempo que admitió que “en política, nadie es imprescindible”.

Boris Johnson quits as UK prime minister, dragged down by scandals

By Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper and Alistair Smout – LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) – Scandal-ridden Boris Johnson announced on Thursday he would quit as British prime minister after he dramatically lost the support of his ministers and most Conservative lawmakers, but said he would stay on until his successor was chosen.

Bowing to the inevitable as more than 50 ministers quit and lawmakers said he must go, an isolated and powerless Johnson said it was clear his party wanted someone else in charge, but that his forced departure was “eccentric”.

“Today I have appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place,” Johnson said outside his Downing Street office where his speech was watched by close allies and his wife Carrie.

“I know that there will be many people who are relieved and perhaps quite a few who will also be disappointed. And I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks,” he added, making no apology for the events that forced his announcement.

There were cheers and applause as he began his speech, while boos rang out from some outside the gates of Downing Street.

After days of battling for his job, Johnson had been deserted by all but a handful of his closest allies after the latest in a series of scandals sapped their willingness to support him.

“It was a short and bizarre resignation speech which didn’t mention the word resign or resignation once. There was no apology, no contrition,” Conservative lawmaker Andrew Bridgen said. “There was no apology for the crisis his actions have put our government, our democracy, through.”

The Conservatives will now have to elect a new leader, a process which could take weeks or months, with details to be announced next week. read more

A snap YouGov poll found that defence minister Ben Wallace was the favourite among Conservative Party members to replace Johnson, followed by junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt and former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

While Johnson said he would stay on, opponents and many in his own party said he should leave immediately and hand over to his deputy, Dominic Raab. Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major said it was “unwise and maybe unsustainable” for him to remain in office when he could still exert its powers.

“For the overall wellbeing of the country, Mr Johnson should not remain in Downing Street – when he is unable to command the confidence of the House of Commons – for any longer than necessary to effect the smooth transition of government,” Major said in a letter released to media.

Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said he would call a parliamentary confidence vote if the Conservatives did not remove Johnson at once.

COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS
The crisis comes as Britons are facing the tightest squeeze on their finances in decades, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with soaring inflation, and the economy forecast to be the weakest among major nations in 2023 apart from Russia.

It also follows years of internal division sparked by the narrow 2016 vote to leave the European Union, and threats to the make-up of the United Kingdom itself with demands for another Scottish independence referendum, the second in a decade.

Support for Johnson had evaporated during one of the most turbulent 24 hours in recent British political history, epitomised by finance minister, Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed to his post on Tuesday, calling on his boss to resign.

Zahawi and other cabinet ministers went to Downing Street on Wednesday evening, along with a senior representative of those lawmakers not in government, to tell Johnson the game was up.