Following a wave of resignations from ministers in his government and a call from key allies to step down, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to resign this morning.
Sterling regained some lost ground on the reports, with traders pricing in an end to the chaotic situation on Downing Street. On Wednesday, Johnson saw more resignations from his Conservative government in one day than any other prime minister in history, but was defiant and stressed his intention to stay on as leader as of late last night.
Commentary: “The U.K. political soap opera doesn’t matter much for sterling unless it opens a door to easier fiscal policy (sterling-positive) and allows a more constructive approach to trade relations,” wrote Kit Juckes, chief FX strategist at Societe Generale.
Johnson has faced increasing pressure to resign after a series of scandals, including “Partygate” and allegations of misleading the public over the appointment of former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher. The momentum to oust Johnson grew with the resignations of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday, but quickly escalated into a full scale party mutiny. Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed as Sunak’s successor, even issued a letter this morning saying the prime minister must go following an announcement last night that he and Johnson would detail a plan to combat economic problems in the U.K.
What’s next? A Tory leadership content will now ensue, with bookmaker William Hill putting Sunak as the favorite at odds of 4-1. The new prime minister will have to contend with a troubled economy, with persistently high inflation that reached 9.1% in May. A spike in energy costs from the war in Ukraine is plaguing many industries, while the country is still dealing with the full impacts of Brexit more than two years after leaving the European Union