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Johnson resigned but will remain UK Prime Minister until the fall
7 July, 2022
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Boris Johnson Boris Johnson / Twitter

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has quit after a mass resignation of ministers from his cabinet. Johnson will remain in office until the Conservative party elects a new leader at a conference in October, said Johnson in a statement on July 7 in Downing Street.

Johnson also addressed the people of Ukraine assuring that the UK would continue to support Ukrainians in the fight against the Russian aggressor.

Johnson assured that he continued the last days of trying to stay in the chair because he "felt it was his job, my duty, his obligation."

"I am immensely proud of the achievements of this government, from getting Brexit done and settling our relations with the continent ... getting us all through the pandemic, delivering the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe, the fastest exit from lockdown, and in the last few months leading the west in standing up to Putin's aggression in Ukraine," Johnson said.

The Conservatives generally have a favorable attitude towards Ukraine and support Kyiv in the fight against the Russian aggressor. However, who will become the new prime minister after the intra-party struggle is now unknown.

Sky News says that, according to polls, the current UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace has the best chance of taking the seat. He is beating all the main contenders, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Wallace has repeatedly spoken out in support of Ukraine, came to Kyiv after the full-scale invasion, and has friendly relations with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took office in July 2019, replacing Prime Minister Theresa May. In December 2020, Johnson's Conservative Party won a majority in the general election, paving the way for Johnson to negotiate a Brexit deal.

Background

As of Thursday morning, the number of government officials to quit the Cabinet is more than 50. The mass resignations of UK ministers began in the wake of a scandal involving sexual harassment by a member and deputy chief whip of the Conservative Party, Chris Pincher. He was accused of groping two guests at a private dinner party in late June. After that, Pincher resigned, but a new scandal broke out around Johnson.

The prime minister knew about the misconduct complaint against Pincher but still appointed him to the position. Johnson responded by saying that he considered the previous cases involving Pincher's accusations "resolved."

In 2020-2021 Boris Johnson broke lockdown rules by having a birthday party with government members while strict quarantine restrictions were operating in the UK. In early June, conservatives tried to express a vote of no confidence for the prime minister and send him to resign, but Johnson remained in office.

Johnson and Ukraine

After February 24, Boris Johnson became one of the world leaders who most supported Ukraine's fight against Russian aggression. Since then, the UK has provided Kyiv with anti-tank missiles, air defense systems, and other weaponry and will soon hand over American MLRS. The United Kingdom is among the leaders in introducing sanctions against Russia, its regime, and Russian business.

On May 3, Johnson became the first Western leader to address the Ukrainian parliament since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.