‘Them’s the breaks’ Boris Johnson resigns as Conservative leader

By Ariane Brumwell   |   Reporter   |
Thursday 7th July 2022 12:27 pm
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Boris Johnson at Hay Festival in 2019 ()

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson was met with boos and cheers as he delivered his statement of resignation outside Downing Street.

Addressing the media and crowds outside Number 10, he delivered a short speech which was also attended by his family and wife Carrie Johnson.

Mr Johnson said he was proud to have served the British people, although there was no sense of remorse or regret for his actions in the speech and didn’t go into the scandals which lead to his resignation.

Mr Johnson will serve as Prime Minister until autumn - the Conservatives are expected to elect a new leader through the summer.

Speaking at the famous Number 10 lectern, Mr Johnson spoke outside the doors of Downing Street where he said he was sad to be giving up “the best job in the world”.

Photo: Steve Pope MDA070722A_SP004
Screen grab from BBC live OB of Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigning outside Downing Street
Screen grab from BBC live OB of Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigning outside Downing Street (©Steve Pope/MDA )

He said: “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister, and 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. And I’ve today appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will, until the new leader is in place.

“So I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019, many of them voting Conservative for the first time: ‘Thank you for that incredible mandate, the biggest Conservative majority since 1987, the biggest share of the vote since 1979.

“And the reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person was not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019.

“And of course, I’m immensely proud of the achievements of this government: from getting Brexit done to settling our relations with the continent for over half a century. Reclaiming the power for this country to make its own laws in parliament, getting us all through the pandemic, delivering the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe, the fastest exit from lockdown, and in the last few months, leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.”

Mr Johnson said we must keep “levelling up” in the UK to unleash the potential of the country in every part of the country.

He said that the UK will be one of the “most prosperous” countries in Europe if we continue to level up.

Boris Johnson confirmed his replacement will get his full backing and expressed his disappointment in leaving the “best job in the world”.

“In the last few days I have tried to convince my colleagues it would be eccentric to change leader when we are delivering so much, when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re only a couple of points behind in the polls.”

He says he “regrets not to have been successful in those arguments. It’s painful not to be able to see through so many projects myself.”

“But as we’ve seen at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful.

“When the herd moves, it moves.”

He thanked the British public and said he will continue to serve until a new Prime Minister is chosen, and that the “best interests” of the country and the people would continue to be served.

He said: “Above all, I want to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege you have given me.”

He finished the speech saying: “Being prime minister is an education in itself - I’ve travelled to every part of UK and I’ve found so many people possessed of such boundless British originality and so willing to tackle old problems in new ways.

“Even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden.”

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