Timeline: The rise and fall of Boris Johnson

LONDON (AFP) – Mr Boris Johnson lasted just three years as British Prime Minister. Weakened by scandals, he refused for months to resign but was preparing to resign on Thursday July 7, forced by his own colleagues.

July 2019: triumphant victory

Following the resignation of Mrs Theresa May, Brexit figurehead Johnson was elected leader of the Conservative party in July 2019 after a landslide victory over Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

He was appointed Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II, promising a rapid exit from the European Union.

January 2020: Brexit hero

Mr Johnson wins an 80-seat majority in the December 2019 general election, enabling him to push his Brexit divorce deal through Parliament.

On January 31, 2020, three and a half years after the referendum, the United Kingdom officially leaves the European Union.

March 2020: pandemic strikes

As the coronavirus spreads across the world, Mr Johnson announces a UK-wide lockdown on March 23.

Four days later, he confirms that he himself has tested positive and is suffering from mild Covid symptoms.

On April 5, he was rushed to hospital and the next day moved to intensive care, later crediting two immigrant nurses with saving his life.

April 2021: ‘Wallpapergate’

Mr Johnson has been repeatedly criticized for his government’s response to the pandemic, including its slow response, and accusations are growing that he lied to Parliament at various stages.

As his ousted former chief adviser Dominic Cummings tries to settle scores, Mr Johnson is accused of illegally funding the lavish refurbishment of his official Downing Street apartment.

May 2021: Electoral successes

Mr Johnson’s Tories are gaining ground against the main opposition Labor in a by-election, including taking the historic Labor stronghold of Hartlepool in north-east England.

December 2021: ‘Partygate’

In early December, revelations emerged about several illegal parties held in Downing Street during successive coronavirus lockdowns.

An angry public, often deprived of seeing sick and dying loved ones due to social distancing restrictions, accuses him of double standards.

The list of parties grows and formal investigations are opened, in particular by the Metropolitan Police of London.

On April 12, Johnson announced he had been fined by police for breaking the law – a first for a sitting prime minister.

His explanations vary, but he assures MPs that he did not mislead Parliament, which is normally a matter of resignation.

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