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Johnson’s decision came after new education secretary Michelle Donelan became the fifth Cabinet minister to tender their resignation after accepting the role on Tuesday night (6 July), with Johnson’s new chancellor Nadhim Zahawi also publicly urging him to “do the right thing and go now”.
The outgoing prime minister has seen mass resignations from the ministerial ranks and a cabinet revolt.
In total, 57 have resigned or have been sacked from the government since Tuesday evening, including chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid.
Many celebrities have reacted to news of Johnson’s imminent resignation on Twitter.
It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander posted: “Very glad to see Boris go now I’d like all the Conservatives to go next â¼ï¸”
“Does this mean there won’t be any more letters?” joked Pointless host Richard Osman, with sad face emojis.
He added: “I imagine his resignation speech will be sober and classy.”
Comedian David Baddiel wrote: “I think many people will be feeling the same thing at this deeply historical moment, which is FFS do the resignation speech soon as I have to go out later this morning and I really want to sit here making fun of it.”
Kathy Burke posted a dancing GIF with the words: “Bye bye Bog Job, you f***ing clown.”
Actor Adrian Edmondson quipped: “Quitter!”
Piers Morgan tweeted: “CONFIRMED: Boris Johnson resigning as Prime Minister, but wants to stay on until October until new leader is announced. This seems preposterous – surely he has to go now?”
Stephen Fry reacted to the news in a threaded tweet, which began: “He’s going! Bless my soul.
“But NOT YET...” the comedian continued, adding, “He just couldn’t do the decent thing and step aside at once. He doubtless pictures himself as an unleashed buccaneering, cavalier swashbuckler rather than the rogue elephant he is, trampling down what’s left of our democracy.
“Oh and oy and oomph, such days,” Fry wrote, before sharing a picture of Johnson with former US president Donald Trump at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France in 2019.
“Maybe this is the ‘colossal man date’ he keeps referring to…,” Fry joked.