Cabinet revolt and chaos: How Boris Johnson lost his PM post in 72 hours

Mr Boris Johnson announced his resignation as British prime minister on July 7, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON - Mr Boris Johnson announced his resignation as British prime minister on Thursday (July 7), after more than 50 people quit the government, claiming they no longer had confidence in his conduct and leadership.

He has spent months battling a wave of political scandals, the latest involving one of his allies, Mr Chris Pincher, who resigned from a government role amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Here is how the last 72 hours unfolded.

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Tuesday (July 5)

6pm UK time (1am Singapore time, Wednesday)

Mr Johnson apologises for appointing Mr Pincher to his government despite knowing that Mr Pincher had been the subject of previous sexual misconduct complaints. The Prime Minister says he had forgotten.

6.02pm - 6.11pm

Two of Mr Johnson's most senior Cabinet members, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, resign. Mr Javid says he has lost confidence in the Prime Minister.

7pm - 8.58pm

Several officials, including trade envoy to Morocco Andrew Murrison and Tory Party vice-chair Bim Afolami, announce their resignations.


Mr Johnson fills up the vacancies in his government by appointing Mr Nadhim Zahawi as Chancellor of the Exchequer, while his chief of staff, Mr Stephen Barclay, is appointed to the health portfolio.


After a short lull, Mr Johnson's trade envoy to Kenya, Ms Theo Clarke, announces her resignation.


Solicitor-General Alex Chalk becomes the 10th member of the government to resign.

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Wednesday (July 6)

8.10am - 11.30am

More government members, including Education Minister Will Quince and parliamentary aide Laura Trott, announce their departures.


By this time, 17 government officials have announced their resignations. Amid calls from his own MPs in Parliament to quit, Mr Johnson insists that he will "keep going".


A number of junior ministers submit their resignations in a joint letter to Mr Johnson. Moments later, Employment Minister Mims Davies becomes the 27th member of the government to quit.


Mr Johnson fires one of his most senior ministers, Mr Michael Gove, after Mr Gove told him to quit earlier in the day. By this time, more than 40 ministers and aides have quit, a record for a 24-hour period.

Thursday (July 7)


Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis becomes the first Cabinet minister on Thursday to resign, saying things are "past the point of no return".


Technology Minister Chris Philp resigns, making him the 52nd member of government to quit.


Mr Zahawi, who has been in post for only two days, publicly calls for Mr Johnson to "go now".


Ms Michelle Donelan quits the Cabinet less than 48 hours after being appointed Education Minister. Mr James Cleverly is then appointed to the post - the third person to hold that post in a matter of days.


Mr Johnson appoints full replacement Cabinet. Mr Greg Clark is the new Levelling Up Secretary, replacing Mr Gove.


Labour Party leader Keir Starmer demands that Mr Johnson step down as PM immediately.


Mr Johnson announces his resignation as Britain's prime minister, saying it is "painful not to see my term through".

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