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Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

One of the most dramatic weeks in British political history ended with Boris Johnson’s resignation as Conservative leader and a promise to step down as prime minister in the autumn.

Johnson announced yesterday afternoon that he is quitting as Tory leader just over a month after surviving a confidence vote in the wake of the Partygate scandal.

But it was allegations over his handling of the Chris Pincher scandal that ultimately brought him down after two of his top ministers – Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid – dramatically resigned from the government on Tuesday evening, triggering an avalanche of departures from junior ministers and aides.

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Johnson seemed determined to fight on right up to the last minute, refusing to step down despite receiving more ministerial resignations than any other prime minister in history. But faced with a government that could no longer effectively function, he finally threw in the towel on Thursday.

“I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world – but them’s the breaks,” he said during his resignation speech outside No. 10 Downing Street.

The timetable for the Conservative Party leadership contest will be announced next week, but the race is already on to replace Johnson as party leader, with MPs Tom Tugendhat and Suella Braverman already launching early bids.

Japan has been rocked by the assassination of former prime minister and political titan Shinzo Abe, who died in hospital after he was shot at a political campaign event in the city of Nara.

Prime minister Fumio Kishida described the attack on the 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s longest-serving PM, as “barbaric and malicious”. A 41-year-old male suspect was arrested at the scene and is now in police custody. He is thought to be Tetsuya Yamagami and a resident of the city, with no known occupation.

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