Less than three years ago, Boris Johnson stood outside Downing Street and hailed a thumping Conservative victory in a general election that overwhelmingly solidified his position as Prime Minister.
In the early hours of that freezing December morning, he hailed the win as “smashing the roadblock” in parliament over Brexit while tearing down Labour’s “red wall” in parts of he country.
938 days later, Johnson will stand in front of the same address and announce his resignation from the post after a spectacular fall from grace pockmarked by a litany of scandals that led to the collapse of his government.
The withdrawal of his support in the wake of the Chris Pincher affair and slew of resignations that followed brought a disastrous end to his tenure at number ten.
It is a vastly different scene to those which came after he assumed power following the resignation of Theresa May.
No10 Downing Street / Andrew Parsons Johnson replaced Theresa May as PM on July 24, 2019 – His resignation coming 17 days shy of three years exactly in the post. No10 Downing Street / Andrew Parsons Getty Images Johnson led the Conservatives to an emphatic win in the December 2019 ‘Brexit election’ which saw the party seize seats once recognised as concrete Labour heartlands. Getty Images No10 Downing Street / Andrew Parsons Alongside representing the country at the Nato summit in 2019, where he met then-US president Donald Trump, he also met Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the Berlin conference on Libya months before the Kremlin started its illegal invasion of Ukraine. No10 Downing Street / Andrew Parsons Getty Images In March 2020, Johnson announced a national lockdown in England and Wales, which was followed up in Scotland, in response to the unfolding coronavirus pandemic. Recurring shutdowns would last for almost two years while the virus claimed thousands of lives. Getty Images ITV But as the country stayed home, cut off contact with family and friends, and wondered whether life would ever be the same again, Johnson and colleagues partied in Downing Street, during which time the PM was spotted giving toasts at leaving events. A report by the civil servant Sue Gray later found some of these included staff taking part in karaoke, being sick and getting into altercations while strict social distancing measures were in place. ITV Getty Images Prior to that, Johnson defended chief adviser Dominic Cummings, after he travelled to his parents’ property in Durham with his wife and child at the height of the pandemic in a possible breach of lockdown rules. The relationship between the pair – who had worked together on the Brexit campaign – would sour by November 2020 and Cummings was sacked for allegedly briefing against Johnson’s wife, Carrie Symonds. Getty Images Handout/Downing Street Johnson and his wife were married in May 2021, shortly after controversy surrounding the refurbishment of their Downing Street flat, including the installation of gold wallpaper, by the designer Lulu Lyle. The Electoral Commission would later fine the Conservatives more than £170,000 for failing to declare a donation used to pay for it. Handout/Downing Street Getty Images There was further controversy when it was claimed Johnson had attempted to hire his now wife as his chief of staff when he was foreign secretary. It was alleged she had been offered the £100,000 a year position despite knowledge of their affair being widely known within the department. Johnson was still married to Marina Wheeler at the time. Both Johnson, and Carrie, have denied the claims. Getty Images ITV But the controversies kept coming. Chris Pincher, the deputy chief whip, was suspended after claims of sexual misconduct at a private member’s club. Johnson initially said he had no knowledge of the allegations before appointing him to the position in February 2022, but later admitted he was aware of those claims as far back as 2019. ITV Dan Kitwood/Getty Images All of which, has led to this moment. The crowds gone, the celebrations muted. The Prime Minister standing in front of Downing Street announcing his plans to resign. In a cutting speech, in which he cited the “Darwinian system” and “herd mentality” inside Westminster, he said it was “clearly now the will of the parliamentary party” that a new leader be chosen. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images