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07th Jul 2022

Boris Johnson says he is “so sad to give up the best job in the world”

Steve Hopkins

He’s gone. Well, not quite yet.

Boris Johnson has confirmed he will resign as UK Prime Minister, noting he is “sad to be giving up the best job in the world”, but “them’s the breaks”.

Johnson made the announcement outside 10 Downing Street shortly after midday on Thursday (7 July), saying no one in politics is “remotely indispensable” and that the “herd had moved”.

Johnson said the UK’s “brilliant Darwinian system will produce another leader” who he will give as much support as he can.

An official timetable for the ousted PM’s exit is expected to be announced next week.

He thanked the British public “for the immense privilege you have given me” and said, “Even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden”.

While announcing his intention to step down, Johnson nonetheless made a number of appointments in the lead-up to his speech.

James Cleverly was appointed as education secretary – the third person to hold that post in a matter of days – replacing Michelle Donelan, who quit after less than two days in the role.

Greg Clark was made the new levelling up secretary, replacing Michael Gove, and Kit Malthouse was appointed Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, the most senior minister in the Cabinet Office after the PM.

Former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland was appointed as Welsh Secretary, replacing Simon Hart. Shailesh Vara was made Northern Ireland Secretary, replacing Brandon Lewis, who resigned from the post Thursday. Andrew Stephenson has been appointed Minister without Portfolio, and will attend Cabinet, Downing Street said.

Speaking to the chair of the 1922 Committee on Thursday morning, Johnson agreed it would be appropriate to step aside and allow the Conservatives to choose a new leader before conference season this Autumn.

By 9am Thursday, there had been 27 new ministerial resignations – five at cabinet level, and 22 below cabinet level.

As of 1pm, the total amount of UK Government resignations stands at 59.