Boris Johnson has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party but will remain Prime Minister while the Conservative leadership race takes place
The Prime Minister had vowed to carry on but faced an uphill battle after even his most ardent allies, including Michael Gove, asked him to step down.
Johnson, who survived a no-confidence vote in June, will remain prime minister until a replacement is found.
Here’s everything you need to know about the conservative leadership race.
When does the conservative leadership race begin?
The conservative leadership race is set to take place this summer.
A new leader of the Conservative Party will be elected and become Prime Minister, this is expected to be in time for the Conservative Party Conference in October 2022.
In the meantime, Johnson will continue in his role as PM while the competition takes place.
There are a number of senior Conservative politicians expected to run to replace Prime Minister.
Those who will propose themselves include: former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Secretary of State Liz Truss and former Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt.
What is the process?
Selecting a new leader takes time, with the current process divided into three phases.
First, the leadership contest will be triggered by either the previous leader’s resignation or a no-confidence vote, which Johnson narrowly won in June 2022.
Second, the 1922 Committee selects candidates based on the Conservative Party Executive.
When there is a group of candidates, ballots from Conservative MPs reduce them until there are only two candidates left.
However, in the rare event that only one candidate is nominated, he becomes an instant winner.
A leader who resigns is not eligible to run for the role again.
In the final and third phase, Conservative Party members choose their favorite candidate from the two.
The one who gets the most votes will be declared the winner.
Why did Boris Johnson resign?
The Prime Minister has resigned in the wake of the Chris Pincher groping scandal.
Johnson initially refused to suspend Pincher’s position as Chief Whip, insinuating he was unaware of previous allegations against the MP.
However, after more allegations came to light, it was confirmed that the Prime Minister was aware of the allegations when he was appointed and that Pincher had previously been suspended.
This led to a mass exodus of staff resigning against the PM’s conduct, with over 50 members of the government and his cabinet resigning over Johnson’s handling of the scandal.
The Prime Minister has found himself in hot water time and time again, from the Partygate scandal to alleged comments about having “corpses piled high” during the Covid pandemic.
He had previously survived a no-confidence vote in June 2022.
Johnson is expected to remain prime minister until the fall, but there are some MPs who think he should leave immediately.
Speaking anonymously to the Guardian, one said: “He has to be over tonight, Raab should take over.” Another said: “He has to hand in the seals of office today and go. So we can have a caretaker PM.”
While another called his move to stay until the fall “dangerous”.