Boris Johnson announcement: why is PM making a statement?

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Boris Johnson resigns as Tory leader after more than 50 MPs resigned from government or party positions

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Boris Johnson resigns as leader of the Conservative Party (Photo: Getty Images)

A No.10 source said Mr Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, leader of the 1922 Conservative Committee, this morning to inform him of his decision to resign.

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The source said: “The Prime Minister has spoken to Graham Brady and has agreed to step down in time for a new leader to be installed by the October conference.”

Will Boris Johnson make a statement?

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Mr Johnson is due to make a statement outside No 10 Downing Street later today confirming his decision to step down.

He is expected to speak at noon, according to SkyNews political editor Beth Rigby.

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A No 10 spokesman confirmed: “The Prime Minister will make a statement to the country today.”

His decision to resign came after he faced intense pressure to quit after more than 50 MPs from all levels of government resigned, urging him to resign.

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The mass rebellion began on Tuesday (July 5) after No 10 admitted Mr Johnson had been briefed in 2019 on allegations of improper conduct against disgraced former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher but appointed him in February nonetheless.

Before the admission, ministers had been told to defend Mr Johnson on the airwaves, saying he was unaware of “specific” allegations.

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What will happen next?

Mr Johnson will remain Prime Minister until a successor is in office, which is expected to be until the Conservative Party Conference in October.

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The timetable for the Tories’ leadership contest is agreed between the 1922 committee, which directs Parliamentary procedures to reduce the candidates to two, and Conservative headquarters.

However, critics of the prime minister suggested he should not remain in office until the autumn.

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George Freeman, who stepped down as Science Secretary on Thursday morning, said Mr Johnson had now “finally done the decent thing” that he should “resign the seals of office, apologize to Her Majesty, allow her to appoint a caretaker, under the minister can serve to enable the Conservative Party to properly elect a new leader”.

Lord Barwell, who acted as Theresa May’s chief of staff, said the election of the leadership would have to happen “relatively quickly” and that the “question is whether the Prime Minister can lead a caretaker government in the meantime, will enough ministers agree to the service? ”

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Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng also hinted he does not want Mr Johnson to remain in office until the autumn and said a new leader would be needed “as soon as possible”.

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