Boris Johnson resigns; Indian-origin Rishi Sunak bookies’ favourite as next UK PM

Boris Johnson resigned as leader of Britain's Conservative party after dozens of ministers quit his scandal-hit government.

would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is found.
Johnson stated he would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is found. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@HoCPress

"It is clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party, and therefore a new prime minister," Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.

Johnson, 58, announced that he would step down after a slew of resignations from his top team in protest at his leadership but would stay on as prime minister until a replacement is found.

The timetable for a Tory leadership race will be announced next week, he said, after three tumultuous years in office defined by Brexit, the COVID pandemic and non-stop controversy over his reputation for mendacity.

Chancellor Of Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid late Tuesday set off a chain of resignations. Today, UK Education Minister Michelle Donelan resigned two days after in the office.

Indian-origin Sunak is seen by the bookmakers Ladbrokes as joint favorite alongside former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt.  If it happens, he will be first Indian-origin man to be British PM.

Sunak became hugely popular during the pandemic after crafting a massive package worth tens of billions of pounds to help businesses and workers. However, in recent months he found himself on the backfoot over his wife's non-dom tax status, his US green card, and the perception of him being too slow to react to Britain's cost-of-living crisis.

Rishi Sunak's grandparents came from Punjab. He has two daughters with Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. 

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