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    Explained: Why is UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson under pressure to resign?

    Explained: Why is UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson under pressure to resign?

    Explained: Why is UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson under pressure to resign?
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to resign after over 50 resignations since July 5 by minister of various ranks and their Tory MP aides. Following a series of scandals and months of political turbulence, ministers and senior members of Johnson’s Cabinet, including the health secretary and chancellor resigned saying they no longer have faith in his leadership.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to step down from the post today after the resignations of a number of ministers and aides, including two senior members of the government, reports said.
    Johnson will make a statement to the country today, a Downing Street spokesperson said, It comes after over 50 resignations since July 5 by minister of various ranks and their Tory MP aides.
     
    Following a series of scandals and months of political turbulence, ministers and senior members of Johnson’s Cabinet, including the health secretary and chancellor, have resigned and are saying they no longer have faith in his leadership.
    On Tuesday, a group of senior ministers met Johnson at 10 Downing Street to try to persuade him to resign, BBC reported. However, Johnson has so far been defiant and said he did not intend to resign given his 'colossal mandate' in the last election, the report said.
     
    Why is Johnson being asked to reign?
    Johnson is facing the heat for his shifting claims on Chris Pincher, a lawmaker who stepped down as a government whip on July 30 following allegations of sexual misconduct. Last Thursday, the Sun newspaper broke the news that Pincher, a Conservative MP, resigned after a boozy evening at the Carlton private members club where he allegedly groped two men, touching at least one of them in the groin.
     
    Pincher resigned saying he had embarrassed himself and other people in a state of drunkenness. Following the resignation, the government announced that no further action would be taken against Pincher and that he would retain his job as an MP as he had recognised his misconduct. This enraged the Conservative MPs, BBC reported.
    Johnson was aware
    This is not the first time allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against Pincher. He was, however, elevated to the position of power as the party's deputy chief whip by Johnson.
    After initial claims that the PM was not aware of allegations of misconduct against Pincher before appointing him as deputy chief whip, reports emerged that Johnson was not just informed about a formal complaint against Pincher in 2019-20 but was also personally briefed about it.
    On Tuesday, Johnson admitted he was informed about the complaint in 2019 and apologised for appointing Pincher to the government role.
    Resignations
    Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned on Tuesday expressing a lack of confidence in Johnson’s leadership. Both are seen as potential candidates who can replace Johnson.
     
    The letters were also strongly worded. Sunak said the “public rightly expects the government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously”, standards that he believes are worth fighting for.
    Javid said, “I am instinctively a team player but the British people also rightly expect integrity from their government.”
     
    The same day, the British PM called a meeting of the cabinet. So far, no one else has resigned.
    Other scandals
    The Pincher scandal is the latest in a series of scandals Johnson has faced. After being criticised for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was accused of the ‘Partygate’ scandal which stemmed from parties and gatherings at Downing Street organised during the pandemic lockdowns.
    Johnson was fined by the police in April for breaking the law and attending a birthday party during the lockdown in June 2020.
    Apart from this, Johnson was accused of trying to secure a government job for his wife Carrie Johnson, when they were dating and he was foreign secretary, Washington Post reported.
    Will Johnson resign?
    Despite being on the brink, Johnson cannot be forcibly ousted under the existing Conservative rules, The Independent reported.
    The PM survived a no-confidence vote last month when 41 percent of Tory MPs voted against him. However, a majority was required to force him to resign from office. As per the existing rules, no new no-confidence vote can be conducted for a year. However, the BBC report said Johnson was told by leading MPs that the Conservative party rules would be changed to allow it.
    Other cabinet ministers, including home secretary Priti Patel and newly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, have also been advising Johnson to step down. However, Johnson said he had no plans to resign.
     
     
    Who are the contenders?
    While talks of Johnson’s resignation continue, The Guardian has listed a number of potential candidates who could be Johnson’s successor.
    The list highlights Penny Mordaunt, former defence secretary, and Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, as strong contenders.
    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, former health secretary Sajid Javid and the newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi are also frontrunners in the race.
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