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The contest to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has begun after he announced he is resigning as Conservative Party leader. Johnson said Thursday he would remain as prime minister until a successor is chosen. The attorney general of England, Suella Braverman, is the only candidate so far to publicly announce she would seek the position. Other prominent contenders include former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who both resigned Tuesday. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, new Treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace are also considered possible candidates. Former health and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt is said to still have ambitions to lead the U.K.

Boris Johnson was the mayor who basked in the glory of hosting the 2012 London Olympics, and the man who led the Conservatives to election victory on the back of his promise to “get Brexit done.” But Johnson’s time as prime minister was marred by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a stream of ethics allegations. That ranged from “Partygate,” the illegal government parties held in violation of COVID-19 restrictions, to how he handled  a sexual misconduct scandal involving a senior party lawmaker.

Boris Johnson wanted to be like his hero Winston Churchill: a larger-than-life character who led Britain through a time of crisis. He was felled by crises of his own making as a trickle of ethics allegations became a flood that engulfed his government and turned his Conservative Party against him. Johnson resigned Thursday after the chorus of disapproval became too much. It lowers the curtain on the career of one of the most divisive politicians Britain has ever known. Biographer Andrew Gimson called Johnson “the man who takes on the Establishment and wins.” But for critic and former member of parliament Rory Stewart he was “probably the best liar we’ve ever had as prime minister.”

The presidents of Poland and Lithuania are meeting NATO troops on both sides of their border to demonstrate the alliance’s defense readiness at a location regarded as a strategically important bottleneck. The 70-kilometer (43-mile) Suwalki Gap is wedged between Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad and Belarus, a Russia ally. It also links Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia to other NATO members and has drawn special attention during Russia’s war in Ukraine. Polish President Andrzej Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda planned to observe an exercise in Poland by a mobile command unit of the U.S.-led Multinational Division North East. The two are then traveling to Lithuania to meet a German-led logistical battalion.

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