British politicians and international world leaders disagree over Boris Johnson’s announced resignation as Britain’s prime minister. Johnson’s supporters praise his commitment to the country, while political opponents, including critical party members, are angry that he will not step down immediately as prime minister.
Within Johnson’s Conservative Party, the answer is largely relieved. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Johnson had “made the right decision”. She cites Brexit, the corona vaccination process and support for Ukraine as the main achievements of the government under Johnson.
According to Truss, the country needs “calm and unity” when looking for a new leader. Truss himself is often mentioned as a possible successor to Johnson as party leader and thus prime minister.
MP Tom Tugendhat made himself available to succeed Johnson in January following the partygate scandal. Like Truss calls he made the right decision to leave Johnson. He praised the outgoing Prime Minister for his services in connection with Brexit, the corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Within the Conservative Party, there is also criticism that Johnson will remain until a successor is found. Former Secretary of State George Freeman urged Johnson to leave immediately so that someone else can temporarily lead the country. John Major, who served as prime minister on behalf of the Conservatives from 1990 to 1997, called it “unwise” to let Johnson stay until the fall.
On the question, Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May did not want to predict who would become the new British leader. She said the next prime minister should focus on “restoring unity within the party and the country”.
Boris Johnson’s supporters, including his wife Carrie and their newborn daughter Romy, attended his press conference and showed their support with applause.
Opponents want Johnson to resign immediately
Political opponents of Johnson are not happy with his announced resignation, though many of them believe he should also step down as prime minister right away.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the main opposition party in the British Parliament, calls it “unfair” for Johnson to remain as prime minister for the time being. “He has to go completely, this can not go on anymore. His own party thinks it has been enough, then they can not saddle the rest of the country with him in the coming months,” said the Labor leader.
Starmer warned before the press conference that his party would cast a no-confidence vote if Johnson did not resign as prime minister immediately. “We not only need change at the top, we need a completely different government.”
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon called Johnson’s temporary stay an “unsustainable proposal”. She sees in “the demise of this rotting government” yet another confirmation that the time has come for Scotland’s independence from Britain.
International leaders regret Johnson’s departure a little
Outside the UK, Johnson’s announced departure has been met with little disappointment. Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin sees opportunities to improve the “tense relationship” between his country and Britain caused by Brexit. “Prime Minister Johnson and I talked often, but rarely agreed. As a result, relations between our governments have been under constant pressure lately.”
Michel Barnier, who is leading the Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU, hopes Johnson’s departure will lead to a “more constructive, respectful” relationship with Britain.
The Russian government said it welcomed Johnson’s departure through a spokesman. The Kremlin called him “a stupid clown” who gets his pay to supply weapons to Ukraine. “He does not like us, nor do we like him,” the Kremlin said.
Ukraine thanked Johnson through Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak for his support. According to Ukraine, the British Prime Minister has spearheaded aid to the country. He was one of the first to see the Russian attack on Ukraine coming, according to Podolyak, who calls it an invasion.