Britain: Boris Johnson Resigns as Prime Minister

Prepare the Struggle for a Workers Government!

By Laurence Humphries, 11 July 2022,


On the 8th July 2022 Boris Johnson announced his resignation as Prime Minister outside of No. 10 Downing Street. Between 6th and 8th July over 50 Cabinet and other Ministers had resigned including his Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Sajd Javid his Health Minister. Johnson dismissed Michael Gove for criticising his Premiership and calling for him to resign. After Tory Grandees had put pressure on Johnson, he had no alternative but to resign. As always Johnson blamed everyone around him.

“Boris Johnson has resigned as Conservative leader and blamed the “herd instinct” of Tory MPs for pushing him out of office, after a series of cabinet ministers told him he had lost the support of the party. In a statement outside Downing Street, Johnson acknowledged that “no one is remotely indispensable” and accepted that it was the “will of the parliamentary Conservative party” that he should leave No 10. But he also signalled his intention to stay on as prime minister while the party picks his successor, potentially until autumn, triggering an immediate backlash among Tory MPs. The statement brings an end to an extraordinary standoff between Johnson and cabinet ministers, including his new chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, who were urging him to quit amid anger over Chris Pincher affair and other scandals.” [1]


Reasons for Boris Johnson’s Resignation


Many bourgeois journalists have given reasons why Boris Johnson had to ultimately resign citing various scandals and wrong decisions while he was in Office. After winning the 2019 General election on the slogan ‘Let’s get Brexit Done’ by a huge majority winning parliamentary seats in former Labour and working-class areas, Johnson has been driven from office over a number of scandals during his term of office.

To name just a few. The Chris Pincher Affair. Chris Pincher was appointed to be a Deputy Chief Whip by Johnson in 2019 although later exposed as having assaulted men at a Gentleman’s Club. Johnson retorted he knew nothing about the matter or conveniently forgot. Many Tory MP’s have been found to have committed sexual crimes against women. The culture in the Tory Party is for all to see how corrupt and degenerate the Tory party has become.

Or another example: Partygate. Johnson encouraged the breaking of Lockdown rules by holding parties in Downing Street when the rest of the population was restricted and heavily fined for breaking any of the Lockdown rules. He is only fined by the Metropolitan police whereas many other people found themselves facing more serious crimes. A clear example of class justice!

“On Wednesday 29 June, the MP Chris Pincher - at the time, the Conservative deputy chief whip - went to a private members' club in London. In his words, he "drank far too much" and "embarrassed himself. He was accused of groping two men, which led to a flurry of allegations, some dating back years. It set off a chain of events that ended with the prime minister's downfall.  In April this year, the prime minister was fined for breaking lockdown rules, after attending a gathering on his birthday in June 2020. He also apologised for going to a "bring your own booze" party in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown. More widely, the Metropolitan Police issued 126 fines to 83 people for breaking lockdown rules in Downing Street and Whitehall. And a report by Sue Gray - a senior civil servant - described a series of social events by political staff that broke lockdown rules. "The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture," she wrote.” [2]

Other scandals or wrong decisions were Johnson’s attempt to bypass parliament and rule by decree. This was overruled by the Supreme Court and parliament having being suspended was reinstated. His decision to remove the Protocol Agreement and create conflicts with the European Union. His utter contempt for bourgeois democracy during the COVID 19 Counterrevolution with Lockdowns and attacks on basic democracy.


Global crisis of capitalism


Many bourgeois commentators have attributed Boris Johnson’s down fall because of some bad flaws in his character like arrogance and a bullish attitude to all his critics. This might be true, but the main cause of his downfall is the global crisis of capitalism, with the depression of the world economy starting in autumn 2019, the acceleration of the inter-imperialist rivalry between all the Great Powers including Western Imperialists (USA, Europe and Japan) and the Eastern Imperialists of Russia and China. Russia’s imperialist war against the Ukraine is another expression of this fundamental changes in the world situation.

It is such process which has provoked a fundamental destabilization of the political and social conditions and which provokes a number of domestic political crisis in various countries all over the world. The recent popular uprisings in Sri Lanka, Ecuador, mass protests in Sudan, etc. are examples for this process.

The Bank of England recently released a depressing forecast of Britain’s economy during the next period forecasting serious recession and downturns in the Market. This is also true with statements from the Federal Reserve in the United States.

“The Bank of England has raised its inflation forecast again, and now predicts it will hit 11% this autumn, when energy bills rise. It had previously estimated that consumer price inflation would hit 10% – far over its 2% target. This new forecast shows that households face even more pain, with real wages already lagging inflation. Announcing today’s interest rate rise to 1.25%, the Bank says: CPI inflation is expected to be over 9% during the next few months and to rise to slightly above 11% in October. The increase in October reflects higher projected household energy prices following a prospective additional large increase in the of gem price cap. The Bank explains the surge in inflation is partly due to rising global energy – greatly exacerbated by the war in Ukraine – and other tradable goods prices.” [3]

The recent rail strike which paralysed the rail network for 3 days and the by-election defeats shows that the working class and the oppressed are fighting back. ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, will be on strike on 23rd July against Greater Anglia Railways. The two election defeats led to two Tory seats being overturned.


Crisis of reformism and centrism


The Labour Party now led by the pro-capitalist Keir Starmer has shown itself a faithful servant of capitalism. Labour is already discussing the possibilities of alliances with the Liberal Democrats in some sort of coalition government. The last vestiges of a bourgeois workers party is slowly disappearing under Starmer’s leadership. He has virtually eliminated the last vestiges of Corbynism and driven the left into abject defeat. The so-called Left Labour MP’s capitulate at every turn. Starmer has threatened expulsion to any MP who does not support NATO the imperialist alliance. He has threatened Corbyn with expulsion if he does not resign from his positions and his support for the Stop The War Movement.

The trade union bureaucracy, the other half of reformism, has no answers to the crisis although the masses are ready to fight and sometimes force the bureaucrats to support their actions. As Trotsky wrote in the Transitional Programme “The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat. (…) The historical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership.” [4]

The centrists meanwhile remain impotent caught between reformist and quasi-revolutionary slogans. Groups like the SWP, the Socialist Party and Socialist Alternative have no other slogans other than to call for future rail strikes. No perspective is offered and most of these pseudo-Trotskyists reject Trotsky’s Transitional Programme. Many of them are drifting rightwards with views indistinguishable from many left reformists.

Comrades of the RCIT in Britain put forward the following transitional demands to unite the working class and the masses in the struggle to overthrow capitalism and to establish socialism through the conquest of state power.

* For a sliding scale of wage increases for workers, the poor and oppressed in line with the rate of inflation.

* Cancel all energy increases. Immediate increases for the unemployed. Increase all benefits in line with inflation.

* Nationalise all capitalist corporations under workers control with no compensation. For a public works program under control of the labour movement.

* Build councils of action to organise protests and strike action. Prepare for an indefinite general strike in order that the working class may take political power. Force the TUC leadership to organise such a strike.

* Create armed self-defence guards to protect communities from police and fascist provocation.

* For a Workers Government based on councils of action and armed self-defence guards.

* Join the RCIT!



1) Boris Johnson resigns as Conservative leader after cabinet revolt | Boris Johnson | The Guardian

2) Boris Johnson resigns: Five things that led to the PM's downfall - BBC News

3) Bank of England says inflation will hit 11% after raising interest rates to 13-year high – as it happened | Business | The Guardian

4) Leon Trotsky: The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International: The Transitional Programme, 1938. New Park Publications