7:29pm AEST by Adrian Beaumont: Boris Johnson is to resign, but wants to remain caretaker PM until a new Conservative leader is elected this northern autumn. Will this be acceptable to Conservative MPs, or will they demand he resign immediately with a caretaker PM taking over until the election of a new leader?
Conservative MPs vote in rounds with the lowest polling leadership candidate eliminated each round, until there are just two left. Those final two go to the right-wing Conservative membership, which votes by mail. To be certain to make the final round, a candidate needs one-third of the MPs’ vote. The membership is more right-wing than MPs, so if a right-wing candidate makes the final two, that candidate could win.
William Bowe’s original post
As of very early morning Australian time, the situation in Britain as I understand is that 34 ministers and aides have resigned citing lack of confidence in Boris Johnson as Prime Minister — including two of the most senior cabinet ministers in Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary — and that a delegation of about seven of the 23 cabinet ministers have confronted him to demand his resignation, one of whom is freshly minted chancellor Nadhim Zahawi. At least some of these have told Johnson that they will resign if he doesn’t.
Johnson is nonetheless refusing to go, and the Conservative Party’s governing 1922 committee has decided not to change rules prohibiting two leadership votes within a year, after he narrowly survived one a month ago. A second delegation of members of parliament has also gone to 10 Downing Street to urge him to fight on, which reportedly included Zahawi, determined to have two bob each way. However, elections for a new executive of the 1922 committee will be held next Monday, which could produce a result that will revisit the question of rewriting the party rules, potentially forcing Johnson out.
There have been suggestions that Johnson might seek a way out by calling a snap election, on which he is apparently sending mixed signals. It would seem to me that this would put Her Majesty in a difficult spot, since she ought not grant a dissolution to a Prime Minister who does not hold the confidence of parliament if a new administration can be formed without one. My guess though is that it won’t ultimately come to that.