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Boris Johnson to resign as Conservative Party leader today as most ministers quit

British PM Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will announce his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party today after he was abandoned by most of his ministers and MPs of the party who said he was no longer fit to govern.

Boris Johnson is to resign as Conservative leader today and make a statement to the country, but he plans to continue to serve as prime minister until the autumn to allow a Tory leadership contest to take place in the summer, according to a BBC report.

However, the powerful backbench 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs decides the Tory leadership timetable and will meet later, BBC said.

Some MPs are pushing for the process to be shortened, with members being given perhaps a month, rather than all summer, to decide the new leader in order to get Boris Johnson out of No 10 quicker, BBC reported.

BBC cited one source as saying, "It won't matter if he says he will stay on until Autumn."

After days of battling for his job, Johnson had been deserted by all but a handful of allies after the latest in a series of scandals broke their willingness to support him.

"His resignation was inevitable," Justin Tomlinson, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said on Twitter. "As a party we must quickly unite and focus on what matters. These are serious times on many fronts."

The Conservatives will now have to elect a new leader, a process which could take weeks or months. It was not clear whether Johnson would or could stay on in a caretaker role while the person who would be the new prime minister was chosen.

Many said he should leave immediately and hand over to his deputy, Dominic Raab

"As well as resigning as party leader the PM must resign his office," Conservative parliamentary deputy Nick Gibb said. "After losing so many ministers, he has lost the trust and authority required to continue."

The Labour Party is saying Johnson cannot stay on as PM, as otherwise they will try to bring a no confidence vote in Parliament.

Boris Johnson's government had plunged into a major crisis after  Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned from the Cabinet on Tuesday, saying they no longer have confidence in Boris Johnson to lead the country.

The resignations came even as Johnson was apologising for what he said was a mistake for not realising that a former minister in charge of pastoral care was unsuitable for a job in government after complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him, in the latest embarrassment to have engulfed his government.

The fresh crisis confronting Johnson comes merely weeks after he survived a no-confidence vote.

Mr Johnson had  said he "bitterly regrets" giving Mr Pincher a government role as Deputy Chief Whip after being made aware of a misconduct complaint against him.

Mr Johnson's government had run into a series of controversies in recent months.

Discontent among Tory MPs has grown since a highly critical report into lockdown parties in and near Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic was published earlier this year.

The report exposed Covid rule-breaking in the PM’s residence at Number 10, including at a birthday party for which the PM was fined by the police, making him UK's first serving prime minister to be sanctioned for breaking the law.