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Business groups call for stability as Johnson resigns

UK businesses have called for stability after Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as Conservative leader and the race to find a successor began.

The CBI said the "political vacuum" needs "to be filled at speed to protect people's living standards".

The Institute of Directors warned "what business hates most is uncertainty and instability".

Mr Johnson has said he intends to stay on as prime minister until a new Tory leader is chosen.

But it is not yet clear when that will happen.

On Thursday, Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, launched his bid to replace Mr Johnson, saying "taxes, bluntly, are too high." He joins Attorney General Suella Braverman who has also thrown her hat in the ring.

Some MPs and business leaders suggested he should go sooner rather than later to allow a new administration to try to tackle the sharpest rise in the cost of living for 40 years, which millions of UK households are struggling with.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng tweeted that a a new leader was needed "as soon as practicable".

"Someone who can rebuild trust, heal the country and set out a new, sensible and consistent economic approach to help families," he said.

Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry tweeted: "I believe it is wrong for Boris Johnson to continue as interim PM. He has shown no contrition about his behaviour and judgement, and cannot (or will not) change his character. Both are damaging to our international trading reputation, and to London as the world's greatest city."

Lord Rose, the chairman of Asda, the former boss of Marks & Spencer and a Conservative peer, said: "This has been too long in happening and it is unsustainable to continue with a hamstrung, lame duck prime minister into the autumn."

According to The Guardian, he also said: "There doesn't seem to be anybody dealing with the serious issue of the economy. This political crisis has hamstrung everything."

And former prime minister Sir John Major wrote in a letter to the backbench 1922 Committee: "The proposal for the prime minister to remain in office - for up to three months - having lost the support of his cabinet, his government and his parliamentary party is unwise, and may be unsustainable."

'Business confidence'

In his resignation speech on Thursday, Mr Johnson said: "I've agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week."

Tony Danker, director general of the CBI business lobby group, said: "We now need the political vacuum to be filled at speed to protect people's living standards, through action on business confidence, investment and growth.

"Getting the economy growing again has got to be the number one focus for all politicians."

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