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by Kirsteen Paterson
07 July 2022
Boris Johnson to resign as Nicola Sturgeon says 'chaos will come to an end'

Boris Johnson to resign as Nicola Sturgeon says 'chaos will come to an end'

Boris Johnson will quit Downing Street after a record number of resignations fatally undermined his premiership, reports say.

A defiant Prime Minister repeatedly insisted he was getting on with the job in Commons sessions yesterday.

That was after his Chancellor, Health Secretary and many more ministers announced they would no longer work for him.

But the resignations have continued into this morning and it is now understood that Johnson will leave office today.

A statement is expected outside Downing Street later.

But it's understood that Johnson will temporarily remain in place pending the outcome of a Conservative leadership election, with his successor in place by the party's October conference - something that has been criticised by former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is now a peer. She tweeted: "There's no way he can stay on until October. It's arrant nonsense to think he can. Someone needs to grip this."

However, Labour leader Keir Starmer called the announcement "good news for the country".

And Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said "trust in the Conservative party has gone and it will not be coming back".

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the last few days (indeed months) will come to an end, though the notion of Boris Johnson staying on as PM until autumn seems far from ideal, and surely not sustainable?"

Yesterday Sturgeon had said a letter recieved from Johnson refusing her request for a Section 30 order may be "one of his last acts as PM".

She has now said: "Boris Johnson was always manifestly unfit to be PM and the Tories should never have elected him leader or sustained him in office for as long as they have. But the problems run much deeper than one individual. The Westminster system is broken."

The FM went on: "My differences with Boris Johnson are many and profound. But leadership is difficult and brings with it many stresses and strains, and so on a personal level I wish him and his family well."

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, said: “The entire country will be breathing a sigh of relief that Boris Johnson is going, but let's not forget that whoever replaces him is complicit.

“This is a party that is rotten to the core, that allowed a cheat, a charlatan, a man devoid of any principles or any values to become the Prime Minister of this country -  and they inflicted his carnage on this country for years.

“That's why not only do we need to see the back of Boris Johnson, we also need to see the back of this Tory government.

 “And that's why we need an election to elect a Labour government that can bring the values of decency, integrity and principles back into our country.”

George Freeman, who this morning issued his resignation as Science Minister, has called on Johnson to apologise to the Queen and "advise her to call for a caretaker" prime minister.

Buckingham Palace has declined to confirm whether or not the Queen, who is at Windsor Castle, has had contact with Johnson today. However, the Court Circular stated that her weekly audience with the PM had gone ahead by phone on Wednesday as usual.

But ITV reports that further contact has now taken place.

Meanwhile, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has said she won't step down in order to make sure the "wheels of government keep turning".

But she said she understands the "very bad situation we are now in", as well as the concerns of Tory colleagues.

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, said Johnson's resignation "is welcome but for Scotland it changes very little," adding: "We're still controlled by a Westminster system that saw fit to make him Prime Minister.

"Whoever replaces him, Scotland will still be saddled with a Tory government we didn't vote for imposign Brexit, austerity cuts and damaging policies against Scotland's will."


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