Conservative MPs say Boris Johnson cannot continue until the autumn and must resign immediately

Downing Street has confirmed that Johnson will make a statement later today offering his resignation. (Photo: DANIEL LEAL via Getty Images)

Downing Street has confirmed that Johnson will make a statement later today offering his resignation. (Photo: DANIEL LEAL via Getty Images)

Conservative MPs are urging Boris Johnson to resign with immediate effect and appoint a caretaker prime minister until a new party leader is chosen.

After an extraordinary 24 hours of mass resignations, Downing Street confirmed that Johnson will make a statement later today offering his resignation.

Johnson agreed to withdraw after speaking with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee.

A new Tory leader will be set for the party conference in October, with Johnson in the interim.

But several MPs have expressed unhappiness at the prospect of Johnson staying on until the autumn, saying he should be replaced in the interim by Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister.

George Freeman, who was one of several ministers to resign this morning, said a new caretaker prime minister was due to take office “today” so that “ministers can get back to work … to try to repair the damage.”

He wrote on Twitter: “Boris Johnson needs to hand over the seals of his office, apologize to Her Majesty and advise her to call in an interim Prime Minister.

“Take over today so ministers can get back to work and we can elect a new Conservative leader to try and repair the damage and rebuild trust.”

Bim Afolami, who resigned as the party’s deputy chairman on Tuesday, wrote in response: “Okay.”

Former minister Nick Gibb said Johnson had “lost the confidence and authority necessary to continue.”

“We need an interim prime minister who is not a candidate for leader to stabilize the government while a new leader is elected.”

North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said: “He has lost the trust of the party and he has lost the legitimacy to remain in office – leaving means leaving.

“If he stays, we will be embroiled in more scandals and sordid accusations throughout the summer, distracting from the government and leadership elections.

“This is about Boris Johnson, it’s not about the party or the country. He is in no condition to remain in office a moment longer.”

Other Conservative MPs questioned the feasibility of Johnson remaining in office until the October conference, when the party is due to set out its vision for the country.

One told HuffPost UK: “I think the behavior of the last 24 hours has made the prime minister remain untenable.

“The most logical thing is that the Prime Minister of State, Dominic Raab, becomes caretaker Prime Minister until the Conservative Party chooses the person best placed to lead the country.”

The MP said Johnson would only further erode the trust that has “gone away” with his MPs if he does not resign immediately.

“Never lose sight of the fact that the Prime Minister put Chris Pincher in a position of power. That is what he has done this. The anger related to this huge.”

Another MP suggested that if there are two rival leaders in place for the recess, “it will be long gone before October”.

Another added: “I think the conference is the long deadline: by then there will be a new leader.”

Johnson will finally resign on Thursday afternoon after resisting calls from his own cabinet.

Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed foreign minister late Tuesday after Rishi Sunak resigned, issued a statement this morning calling on Johnson to “do the right thing and leave now.”

So far, more than 50 Conservative MPs have given up their government posts.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.


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