Downing Street has appointed a new Cabinet to take over the business of government until a new Conservative Party leader is chosen, according to the BBC.
It’s expected that a Tory leadership race will take place in the coming months, with the victor to replace Johnson in October.
Several senior members of Johnson’s Conservative Party say he should be replaced immediately rather than be allowed to remain as a caretaker prime minister until a new party leader is chosen.
Tory members want defense minister as PM — survey
According to a survey by opinion pollsters YouGov, Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace would be Conservative Party members’ favorite to replace Boris Johnson.
It will be up to party members to decide between the final candidates after they are whittled down to the last two in voting by Conservative lawmakers.
Wallace has called on Johnson to quit but said he would stay in his role leading the UK defense ministry to protect national security.
A former soldier, he was security minister from 2016 until taking on his current role three years later. Wallace has won plaudits after his department evacuated British nationals and allies from Afghanistan last year, and for his advocacy of sending weapons to Ukraine.
Other possible contenders in the poll included Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, departed finance minister Rishi Sunak, and Jeremy Hunt, who faced Johnson in the last showdown decided by party members.
PM speaks to queen in advance
Boris Johnson has reportedly spoken to Queen Elizabeth as a courtesy ahead of an impending announcement about his plans to stand down, according to a report from the British broadcaster ITV.
EU Brexit chair Verhofstadt welcomes end of era
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt has welcomed the end of Johnson’s tenure. The former Belgian prime minister compared the British prime minister to former US President Donald Trump, and said he hoped UK-EU relations could improve.
“Boris Johnson’s reign ends in disgrace, just like his friend Donald Trump,” Verhofstadt tweeted. “The end of an era of transatlantic populism? Let’s hope so. EU – UK relations suffered hugely with Johnson’s choice of Brexit. Things can only get better!”