Boris Johnson resignation: Sadiq Khan calls for ‘immediate general election’

In a scathing attack on prime minister’s leadership, Sadiq Khan said Boris Johnson had presided over a government defined by "lies, sleaze, an utter lack of integrity and unlawful behaviour”.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has called for an immediate general election as the prime minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation.

In a scathing attack on the prime minister’s leadership, Mr Khan said Boris Johnson had presided over a government defined by "lies, sleaze, an utter lack of integrity and unlawful behaviour”.

The Labour politician, who took over the job of mayor of London from Mr Johnson in 2016, described the prime minister’s leadership as “one of the most shameful sagas in the history of British politics”.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Credit: Getty Images

Mr Johnson hopes to remain in his role till a successor is appointed in the autumn but Mr Khan insists that we “simply cannot wait” until then.

He said: “The only way our country will be able to get the fresh start it deserves is for the next prime minister to call an immediate general election so we can get rid of this appalling Tory government.

“At every turn, his government has sought to stoke division, play communities off against one another, and level 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.

“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 No10, but that departure simply cannot wait until the autumn now so much damage has been done.

“And this goes far wider than one man.

“Boris Johnson was supported, defended and enabled by Conservative Ministers and MPs every step of the way, even though they knew - from the very start - he was unfit to be prime minister.

“Londoners and people across Britain are being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis, spiralling inequality and a stagnating economy.

“It’s clear: the Tories are incapable of governing in the national interest and fixing the huge challenges we face.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation as he announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Mr Johnson’s decision comes after more than 50 Tory MPs quit the government in a period of less than 48 hours, following the shock resignations of health secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor Rishi Sunak.

On Thursday morning Mr Johnson announced he would resign as Tory party leader but remain prime minister until October.

A new prime minister will be in place until the Tory party conference in October, a No 10 source told the BBC.