Boris Johnson finally announced his resignation today admitting ‘no-one is indispensable’- but is lining up a ‘unity Cabinet’ as he battles to stay in Downing Street for months longer.

In a statement in Downing Street, the PM tried to sound an upbeat tone as he confirmed that his time in office is coming to an end.

He said he wanted to say to 2019 voters ‘thank you for that incredible mandate’, adding the ‘reason I have fought so hard’ was because he felt it was his ‘job’ to deliver on what he promised.

Standing in front of the traditional podium and watched by wife Carrie, baby Romy and close aides, Mr Johnson pointed to his achievements since winning the huge landslide – such as the vaccine rollout and Brexit.

He paid tribute to his family for ‘all they have put up with’.

HORIZONTAL

‘Our future is golden,’ he finished.

No10 had appealed for Conservative MPs to come and watch the speech in the street, but there only seemed to be a small crowd present.  

Mr Johnson admitted defeat in the wake of a shattering intervention from Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed on Tuesday night following Rishi Sunak’s departure. He told Mr Johnson that his situation is ‘not sustainable’.

A No10 source said Mr Johnson has spoken to Tory 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady and agreed to stand down, with a new Tory leader set to be in place by the party conference in October.

HORIZONTAL

A spokeswoman said the PM will ‘make a statement to the country’, which is due around 1pm.

However, at the same time Mr Johnson has set about rebuilding his Cabinet, making Greg Clark the new Levelling Up Secretary and James Cleverly the Education Secretary. Robert Buckland is returning as Welsh Secretary, and Shailesh Vara takes over as Northern Ireland Secretary.

Kit Malthouse becomes Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Mr Clark was in the Cabinet under Theresa May but stepped down when Mr Johnson took over, and Mr Buckland was axed as Justice Secretary in a reshuffle last year. Mr Vara was previously a Northern Ireland minister but has been out of government. 

The others are long-standing allies promoted from other jobs.

The PM’s resignation announcement will effectively fire the starting gun on what looks set to be a chaotic leadership battle. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – expected to be a candidate – is cutting short a visit to Indonesia to return to the UK. 

However, it is far from clear that Mr Johnson staying on until October – more than two months – will be acceptable to Tory MPs. More than 50 government members have resigned, and there will be questions over whether they can simply be reappointed, or would even agree to that. There are rumours that Mr Johnson still wants to push key policies such as tax cuts.

Keir Starmer threatened to call a Parliamentary confidence vote and try to force a general election if Mr Johnson does not leave immediately.

‘He needs to go completely. None of this nonsense about clinging on for a few months,’ he said.

George Freeman, who announced he was resigning as science minister this morning, said Mr Johnson must apologise to the Queen and advise her to call for a caretaker PM.

‘Boris Johnson needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty and advise her to call for a caretaker prime minister,’ he said. ‘To take over today so that ministers can get back to work and we can choose a new Conservative leader to try and repair the damage and rebuild trust.’

A former minister told MailOnline: ‘We need to be rid of the Johnson poison as quickly as possible.’

Ex-No10 chief Dominic Cummings wrote on Twitter: ‘Evict TODAY or he’ll cause CARNAGE, even now he’s playing for time & will try to stay.

‘No ‘dignity’, no ‘interim while leadership contest’.

‘Raab shd be interim PM by evening.’

Another former minister, Nick Gibb, said: ‘As well as resigning as Party leader the PM must resign his office.

‘After losing so many ministers, he has lost the trust and authority required to continue. We need an acting PM who is not a candidate for leader to stabilise the government while a new leader is elected.’ Daily Mail

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