Sadiq Khan slams Boris' leadership as 'most shameful saga' in UK politics

7 July 2022, 10:50 | Updated: 7 July 2022, 12:53

Sadiq Khan has slammed Boris Johnson's leadership ahead of his resignation as Prime Minister.
Sadiq Khan has slammed Boris Johnson's leadership ahead of his resignation as Prime Minister. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has slammed Boris Johnson's leadership as the "most shameful saga" in the history of British politics ahead of his resignation.

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Mr Khan said the PM has presided over a government "defined by lies, sleaze, an utter lack of integrity, unlawful behaviour, incompetence, and a damaging culture of impunity in public office".

The Labour mayor, who has been critical of Mr Johnson's leadership throughout his premiership, said there will be a collective "sigh of relief" at news the PM is preparing to step down.

He accused the Conservative government of "stoking division" and playing communities off against one another, and said Mr Johnson has "levelled down our capital city for political gain".

"This has caused immense damage - harming our economy, feeding public cynicism and degrading our country in the eyes of the world," Mr Khan wrote in a powerful statement.

Read more: Prime Minister Boris Johnson to quit today after wave of ministers resign

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"Truth, decency and integrity in public office matter.

"There will be a collective sigh of relief across the country now he has finally agreed to leave Number 10, but that departure simply cannot wait until the Autumn now so much damage has been done."

On Thursday morning, following a wave of ministerial resignations, it emerged that Mr Johnson would resign as leader of the Conservative Party.

However he could remain prime minister until October.

A spokesman for Number 10 said: "The prime minister will make a statement to the country today."

It has been widely reported that he will address the nation at 1pm.

The scandal surrounding Chris Pincher looks set to be the final nail in the coffin for the Prime Minister's leadership, after more than 60 MPs resigned from his government.

News of Mr Johnson's plans to resign emerged on Thursday after Nadhim Zahawi - his newly elected Chancellor - publicly called for him to go, despite backing him in media interviews when a number of ministers abandoned the beleaguered PM.

He wrote: "You must do the right thing and go now".

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Picture: Alamy

Mr Johnson's education secretary, Michelle Donelan, who replaced Mr Zahawi, went one step further on Thursday and quit her Cabinet role after just 36 hours in office.

She told Mr Johnson: "You have put us in an impossible situation. I am deeply saddened that it has come to this, but as someone who values integrity above all else, I have no choice."

See the full list of those who resigned here.