Boris Johnson resignation: Was he successful as PM?

Andrew Parsons

Fact Box

  • United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was inducted into the position on July 24, 2019. He was a primary supporter of the “Leave” campaign during Brexit, and mayor of London for eight years before his position as prime minister. 
  • Johnson was credited with leading Britain out of the European Union with the Brexit deal that was approved January 23, 2020, and a “relatively” fast rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • On July 7, 2022, Johnson stepped down as the leader of the Conservative party after 50 of his cabinet members resigned in light of the minister’s handling of misconduct allegations, tax rises, and policy direction. In an official notice, he stated, “I have gone out and defended this government both publicly and privately. We are, however, now past the point of no return.” 
  • Prime Minister Johnson apologized after an investigation was released on January 31, 2022, over the “partygate” scandal asserting, “I get it, and I will fix it.” Allegations of his behavior during COVID restrictions have led to the public and conservatives “to call for Johnson’s resignation.”
  • A comprehensive YouGov poll found that Johnson started with a 32% approval rating that spiked in April 2020 at 66%. By the end of his office in June 2022, his rating dropped dramatically to 23%.

Maha (Yes)

Despite the scandals plaguing his government, Boris Johnson may go down in history as one of the most successful UK prime ministers. 

Over the span of his three years serving as PM, he has pulled off several notable achievements. That, too, during a pandemic that put governments worldwide under much pressure. In fact, many country leaders, including President Biden, still struggle to overcome it. 

One achievement that will forever be associated with Johnson is leading the UK to leave the European Union through Brexit. The initiative offers many advantages, including new and better trade deals without European Court of Justice oversight. Moreover, it supports several policies like the new immigration policy that treats everyone equally regardless of their country of birth. 

Another achievement, albeit relatively short-lived, is his ability to reach parts of the electorate that other Conservative Party leaders couldn't. 

In 2012, The Daily Mail described him as 'the Heineken Tory' because of this. Helping him achieve this were his commitment to Conservative values, support for small government, and understanding of modern Britain. 

Additionally, Boris Johnson's tenure produced several successes. While he may not have fulfilled all his promises, he did manage to make considerable progress towards them. For instance, he promised '20,000 more police and tougher sentencing for criminals.' By March 2022, 13,576 police officers were hired in England and Wales. 

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was also brought into force in 2022. It includes several measures, such as making whole-life orders the least punishment for pre-meditated child murder. With so much done despite a full-scale domestic recession, threat of international military conflict, and a pandemic, Johnson deserves high honors. 

Tyler (No)

History will look back at Boris Johnson's three-year tenure as England's prime minister as unsuccessful for various reasons. Despite being generally well-liked by the leaders of other nations, Johnson's popularity never fared well in his home country. Since his resignation, there have been ten government officials vying for Johnson's previous position.

Johnson's morality came into question when he hired Chris Pincher despite concerning sexual assault allegations. In 2018, Johnson appointed Pincher as Deputy Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, a position he held until the recent turmoil unfolding. Despite the government maintaining that Johnson never knew about Pincher's previous misconduct before hiring him, Johnson later disclosed that this was not the case. The prime minister actually made jokes about the matter, referring to him as 'Pincher by name, and Pincher by nature.' Four years after Johnson ignored Pincher's allegations, he was again accused of sexual assault by two men at a party.

Throughout the pandemic, Johnson and other government officials secretly broke COVID protocols to gather with others and host parties. Despite originally being ignored by Metropolitan police, Johnson and his wife were eventually cited for these offenses a total of four times throughout the pandemic. This discouraged British citizens from following guidelines set by a prime minister who couldn't or wouldn't even follow them himself. This power struggle has begun to trickle down, as over 50 members of Parliament resigned after what has occurred. This is a clear and negative reflection of his time in office, and it's good he's stepping down.

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