The country has breathed a ‘collective sigh of relief’ at the news the country’s ‘worst ever’ Prime Minister is going, according to a North East MP.

Andy McDonald, who represents Middlesbrough, said Boris Johnson had been ‘undignified until the end’.

Mr Johnson said he is quitting as Tory leader after ministers and MPs made clear his position was untenable.

He will remain as Prime Minister until a successor is in place, expected to be by the time of the Conservative Party conference in October.

Read more: Live coverage as Prime Minister expected to resign 

Mr McDonald said: “The worst Prime Minister this country has ever had is finally going.

“You can hear the collective sigh of relief from the country.

“His sense of entitlement and thirst for power saw him cling on long after he should have resigned. Undignified to the end.”

Mr McDonald said it is ‘massively damning indictment’ of Conservative MPs that it has taken them so long to do the right thing and speak out.

He said: “The Tories have always known who he was and yet have put up with him whilst they thought he was an asset.

“They cynically traded truth, honesty and morality for power. The damage Boris Johnson has done to democracy is shameful.

“He has repeatedly lied to the electorate with no regard for basic decency and has trashed our nation’s reputation recklessly showing contempt for our international obligations, the rule of law and callously jettisoning our country’s world leading commitment to fundamental human rights. “He leaves behind a legacy of lies, corruption and greed. What an utter disgrace."

Read more: All the Tory MPs who have resigned so far

A No 10 source said Mr Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee, to inform him of his decision.

The spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister has spoken to Graham Brady and agreed to stand down in time for a new leader to be in place by the conference in October.”

Mr Johnson will make a statement later today confirming the decision.

The resignation comes after the Prime Minister haemorrhaged support among his ministers and MPs.

More than 50 MPs have resigned from government or party roles since Tuesday night, when the mass exodus was triggered by the resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid from the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister had sought to defy his critics and carry on in office, despite warnings from Cabinet colleagues that this was not sustainable.

But resignations continued and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi – who was only appointed to the role on Tuesday – went public with his call for the Prime Minister to quit.

The timetable for the Tory leadership contest will be agreed between the 1922 Committee, which runs the parliamentary proceedings to whittle the candidates down to two, and Conservative headquarters.

But critics of the Prime Minister suggested he should not be allowed to remain in office until the autumn.

Read more: Who could replace Prime Minister?

George Freeman, who quit as science minister on Thursday morning, said that now Mr Johnson had “finally done the decent thing” he should “hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty, allow her to appoint a caretaker under whom ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader properly”.

All 11 Tory MPs who represent constituencies in the North East have been contacted by the Northern Echo for comment.

Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison said Boris Johnson has ‘finally done the right thing’ and resigned.


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