Boris Johnson 'doesn't want to resign,' says former colleague: Report
Boris Johnson told former Conservative Party treasurer Peter Cruddas that he "does not want to resign" as the United Kingdom's prime minister and hoped he could "wipe away" his departure, reported The Telegraph. According to the report, Johnson also informed Cruddas over lunch at Chequers on Friday that he "wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party." Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
Johnson announced his resignation as the UK PM on July 7. He will remain in charge until a new Conservative leader is elected. He won the Conservative Party leadership election and was appointed as the UK PM in 2019. His resignation followed a wave of other resignations of his party members who went against him—leading to an ongoing battle for leadership among party members.
He definitely doesn't wanted to resign: Cruddas
"There was no ambiguity in Boris's views. He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can," The Telegraph quoted Cruddas as saying. The development comes amid an ongoing contest between the two candidates—Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss—trying to replace Johnson as the UK's PM and leader of the Conservative Party.
Petition to include Johnson on Tory leadership ballot
Even while announcing his resignation, Johnson had stated he was "sad to give up the best job in the world." Cruddas earlier launched a petition to include Johnson's name on the Conservative Party leadership ballot. Interestingly, since the introduction of the petition last week—also seeking a confirmation vote on the MPs' decision to remove Johnson—it received approximately 2,000 signatures every day from party members.
Official spokesperson rejects Cruddas's claims
However, in response to Cruddas's claims, the prime minister's official spokesperson told The Telegraph that Johnson will step down as the UK PM once a new leader is elected. "The Prime Minister has resigned as party leader and set out his intention to stand down as PM when the new leader is in place," they said.
Why did Boris Johnson resign?
As the UK PM, Johnson has had his share of controversies—from the "partygate" scandal to sex scandals involving Conservative Party lawmakers close to him. To recall, he had been in the midst of the "partygate" scandal ever since reports of "bring-your-own-booze" (BYOB) parties in and around Downing Street during the COVID-19-induced lockdowns surfaced. These 2020-21 parties breached the strict COVID-19 restrictions and were illegal.
Sex scandals involving lawmakers
Tory lawmakers, especially those close to Johnson, were also embroiled in sex scandals, prompting them to resign. Imran Ahmad Khan resigned after he was found guilty of having sexually abused a 15-year-old boy. Neil Parish resigned after acknowledging he watched pornography on his phone twice in the House of Commons. Another lawmaker, whose name wasn't revealed, was arrested on rape and sexual assault charges.Share this timeline