How many Prime Ministers have resigned? How long was Liz Truss Prime Minister? How does it compare to Boris Johnson?

Here’s how many Prime Ministers have resigned, and how long Boris Johnson and Liz Truss were Pime Ministers of the UK.

Truss was the third Prime Minister in four years.

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But how many Prime Ministers have actually resigned while in office?

Boris Johnson, Theresa May, and Margaret Thatcher are among the UK Prime Ministers who have resigned (Getty/PA)
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How many Prime Ministers have resigned? How long were they Prime Minister?

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Twelve UK Prime Ministers have resigned since the start of the 20th century – including Boris Johnson.

Neville Chamberlain (Conservative) famously resigned after the outbreak of the Second World War. He was PM for three years, from 1937 to 1940.

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Winston Churchill (Conservative) resigned during his second term as Prime Minister in 1955 due to ill health. His second term lasted 3 years and 162 days.

Anthony Eden (Conservative) was forced to resign in 1957 due to the Suez Crisis. He was PM for just one year and 279 days.

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Harold Macmillan (Conservative) resigned in 1963 following the Profumo scandal. He had been PM for six years and 282 days.

Margaret Thatcher (Conservative) resigned in November 1990 after failing to win a majority in a party leadership election. She was PM for 11 years and 209 days.

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John Major (Conservative) resigned on May 2, 1997 after losing the general election to Tony Blair. He had been PM for almost seven years.

Tony Blair (Labour) resigned as leader of the Labour party in June 2007 during his third term as Prime Minister as his popularity plunged following the invasion of Iraq. He had been in power for more than 10 years.

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Gordon Brown (Labour) resigned as PM and leader of his party after losing the 2010 general election. He was PM for 2 years and 319 days.

David Cameron (Conservative) resigned after the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum. He was PM for six years and 64 days.

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Theresa May (Conservative) resigned in July 2019 after being unable to pass her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. She had been in power for 3 years and 12 days.

Boris Johnson (Conservative) announced his resignation on July 7, 2022 after losing support from his party following a series of scandals.

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Finally Liz Truss (Conservative)who will be the shortest serving prime minister in British history. She announced her resignation having clocked up just 44 full days in the role – a long way behind the next shortest premiership, that of Tory statesman George Canning, who spent 118 full days as PM in 1827 before dying in office from ill health.

How long was Liz Truss Prime Minister?

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Liz Truss announced her resignation having clocked up just 44 full days in the role – a long way behind the next shortest premiership, that of Tory statesman George Canning, who spent 118 full days as PM in 1827 before dying in office from ill health.

Ms Truss was to have overtaken this number of days on January 3 2023. But instead she will fall short by more than two months, with her successor due to be elected within the next week.

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There have been several prime ministers who for various reasons failed to last a year in the job.

They include two Conservative PMs in the past 100 years: Andrew Bonar Law, who clocked up 211 days from 1922 to 1923 before resigning due to poor health, and Alec Douglas-Home, who managed 364 days in 1963-64 until losing a general election.

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How long was Boris Johnson Prime Minister?

Boris Johnson has been Prime Minister for just under three years – two years and 348 days, to be precise. He became PM on 24 July, 2019, the day after he was elected leader of the Conservative Party following the resignation of Theresa May.

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Campaigning with a promise to “get Brexit done”, he won a landslide Conservative majority of 80 seats in the general election on 12 December, 2019.

Since, Mr Johnson has presided over the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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He plans to stay in his current role for a ‘caretaking period’ until the next Conservative leader is chosen.

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