July 13, 2024
Boris Johnson all smiles amid biggest cabinet bloodbath in British history
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson at Buckingham Palace, where she invited him to become prime minister and form a government.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson at Buckingham Palace, where she invited him to become prime minister and form a government.

Shortly before 4pm on Wednesday, Boris Johnson marched up to the podium outside 10 Downing Street and promised to “change the record” after three years of self-doubt under Theresa May. He was all smiles as Downing Street staff applauded him on his way in but a few minutes later he was in his Commons office executing the biggest cabinet bloodbath in British political history.

Less than two hours after he walked into Downing Street, 17 ministers had resigned or been sacked, more than twice the number Harold Macmillan dispatched in 1962 in the Night of the Long Knives.

Among the casualties was Scottish secretary David Mundell who faced taunts in the Commons earlier about his public criticism of Johnson. When former Conservative Anna Soubry said she hoped he would remain in his post, Mundell said: “I fear that the honourable lady’s endorsement will have sealed my fate.”

The chamber was more crowded than in recent weeks for Theresa May’s final prime minister’s questions and her husband Philip watched from the gallery. Some of her most determined tormenters, including Jeremy Corbyn and Jacob Rees-Mogg, paid tribute to her sense of duty. But May ended her final exchange with the Labour leader with a barb.

“Perhaps then I could finish by saying this: as a party leader who has accepted when her time is up, might I suggest that perhaps the time is now for him to do the same?” she said.

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See Also:

(1) Boris Johnson takes his revenge and sacks over half the cabinet

(2) The risk and appeal of Prime Minister Boris Johnson

(3) Welcome, Boris

(4) John Bercow could allow confidence vote in Boris Johnson in just days – shock warning

(5) New UK PM Boris Johnson faces towering Brexit and Iran tanker issues

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