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Johnson to stay on as British PM until replacement found

LONDON (AFP) – Boris Johnson resigned yesterday as leader of Britain’s Conservative party, paving the way for the selection of a new prime minister after dozens of ministers quit his scandal-hit government.

“It is clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party, and therefore a new prime minister,” Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.

Johnson, 58, announced that he would step down after a slew of resignations from his top team in protest at his leadership but would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is found. The timetable for a Tory leadership race will be announced next week, he said, after three tumultuous years in office defined by Brexit, the COVID pandemic and non-stop controversy over his reputation for mendacity.

The leadership election will take place over the summer and the victor will replace Johnson by the party’s annual conference in early October, the BBC reported.

He said he was “sad… to be giving up the best job in the world” and justified fighting on in the final hours to deliver the mandate he won in a general election in 2019.