Boris Johnson resigns: NI politicians, organisations react to PM’s departure

Northern Ireland's political leaders and organizations have responded to the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as leader of The Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson resigns: NI politicians, organisations react to PM’s departure

Northern Ireland's political leaders and organizations have responded to the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as leader of The Conservative Party.

He plans to be prime minister from now until autumn, on an interim basis, while a successor is selected.

Johnson stated that it was "clearly now" the will of Conservative MPs for a new leader.

However, increasing numbers of Tory MPs believe he must leave No. 10 immediately.

The resignation of the prime minister comes as Northern Ireland faces a host of ongoing problems, including legislation to override the Northern Ireland Protocol section of the Brexit deal. This controversial bill on legacy cases from Troubles and the ongoing impasse about forming a power sharing government.

Sir Jeffrey stated that the Northern Ireland Protocol would be removed regardless of any personnel changes at Downing Street.

He said, "I recognize the efforts made by the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson (and his team) to replace the Northern Ireland Protocol using arrangements that can command the support both of unionists and nationalists."

"It's no secret that we believed Boris Johnson had a responsibility to rid the Irish Sea border of his disastrously rejected advice. He signed a withdrawal agreement that contained the protocol."

Sir Jeffrey stated that the Conservative and Unionist Party's leadership was "a matter for the members and MPs of that party", but that they should recognize that there are no unionist MPs or MLAs who support the protocol.

He stated that Stormont's devolved government and protocol could not coexist.

Mary Lou McDonald, president of Sinn Fein, said that Mr Johnson's interactions in Ireland with him were "wholly negative" but that he would be missed.

She stated that "Under his leadership we have seen an attack upon the Good Friday Agreement; threat following threat to violate international law; Boris Johnson’s government brought austerity for the people of the north of Ireland.

"And of course, he championed the catastrophe that is Brexit and brought it to all of us."

Ms. McDonald said that Mr. Johnson's priority when it came to the north was to placate DUP.

The leader of Ireland noted that Boris Johnson was the UK's head during "an especially difficult period", which included the Ukraine war and the coronavirus pandemic.

He said, however, that "the relationship between our countries has been strained & challenged in recent years".

Martin stated that "our joint responsibilities regarding the Good Friday Agreement's stewardship, as well as maintaining bilateral relations, requires us to work together with a spirit of mutual respect, trust, and partnership."

"This is more important than ever and I urge you to pull back from unilateral action on the legacy of history, human rights or the Northern Ireland Protocol."

He welcomed the UK's cooperation with the European Union to respond to the war in Ukraine, and said that he would continue to work with the UK government in "that spirit" in the future.

The Alliance MP welcomed Johnson's resignation and said that the events of recent days were "a complete farce".

He stated that he was deeply disturbed by the idea that Boris Johnson would remain as a caretaker prime Minister until the autumn, or until his successor is chosen by the Conservative Party.

This is not an ordinary transition. He has proven over the last few days that he doesn't possess the character nor the judgment to be credible prime minister. He needs to leave today."

He stated that the prime minister of Northern Ireland "won’t be missed" overall.

Foyle MP praised Boris Johnson's "long overdue resignation" and suggested that the prime minister leave government immediately.

Mr Eastwood stated that Boris Johnson had degraded the office he holds. He has fundamentally and irreparably damaged public confidence and life, and his death grip has extended a period of government marked by scandal, law-breaking and sleaze.

He said that failures in the government extend beyond the prime Minister.

"Those who fled the sinking ship cannot fix the problems, not least the legacy and protocol in Northern Ireland.

He said, "This is the moment to end twelve years of Tory government."

Doug Beattie stated that the prime minister will be remembered by his "poor credibility and lack integrity", regardless of Brexit, Partygate, Protocol, or how he handled allegations against Chris Pincher.

"Just to add to it, when he knows he should be gone quite some time ago, he has clung to and all he's managed to do to damage the reputation of Britain," Mr Beattie stated to BBC News NI.

He said that when they agreed on the protocol, they agreed to something that would always be divisive.

"He has left Northern Ireland at a worse place than when he became prime minister."

Boris Johnson's resignation was met by Mr Carroll who called for an election.

He said that Boris Johnson's resignation was long overdue but that it was not worth replacing him with someone equally guilty of attacking workers - the entire Tory government should be removed from office."

"None the Tories who are waiting to replace Johnson are qualified to lead a government. They are self-serving elites that have long treated people in crisis with contempt."

A People Before Profit member stated, "It's time for the people to have their say on this corrupt Tory government."

Boris Johnson's tenure in office as prime minister was "disastrous" for unionism, according to Mr Allister.

He stated that the protocol had not secured Brexit for all nations, but instead made Northern Ireland vulnerable to EU writ.

He said, "With Westminster in flux, it's more important than ever that unionism maintains firm in using Stormont leverage to combat the iniquitous protocols."

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce recognized Boris Johnson's resignation, and asked for the EU and UK to "continue to constructively engage in order to solve the issues relating the Northern Ireland Protocol".

John McGrane, the director general of the chamber, stated that today's announcement came at a time when Northern Ireland Protocol issues remain unresolved. This poses problems for businesses on both ends of the border.

"In this situation, the chamber and its members call on the next prime minister of Ireland and the European Union for collaboration to resolve the difficult issues relating to protocol. This will provide much-needed clarity for communities and businesses across these islands."

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