LONDON    -    Boris Johnson resigned on Thursday as lead­er of Britain’s Conser­vative party, paving the way for the selection of a new prime minister after dozens of minis­ters quit his scandal-hit government.

“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.

Also, the cabinet has asserted itself and Bo­ris Johnson will serve as a “caretaker” prime minister, a newly ap­pointed member of the cabinet has said. Rob­ert Buckland told BBC Newsnight that the prime minister will lead a cabinet that ensures the day to day opera­tion of the government is carried out “efficient­ly and smoothly”.

Boris Johnson has re­signed as leader of the Conservative party. But he plans to follow convention by remaining as PM un­til the Conservative par­ty has elected a new lead­er. Some Conservative MPs have called on him to stand down as prime minister immediate­ly. They believe the col­lapse in cabinet support this week made his posi­tion untenable. The lead­ership election will take place over the summer and the victor will re­place Johnson by the par­ty’s annual conference in early October, the BBC and others reported