Boris Johnson resigned: What did Boris say and Boris Johnson’s resignation speech in full

With reports that Mr Johnson was changing his speech minutes before he appeared live, here’s what Mr Johnson said and his entire resignation speech in full.

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What did Boris Johnson say in resignation speech?

Mr Johnson summarized the events of the last few days, stating that it was “clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader” as he announced his resignation. He went on to say that he was “immensely proud of the achievements of this Government”, from getting Brexit done to getting the UK through the pandemic, and leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.

Addressing why it took so long to resign despite more than 50 resignations, Mr Johnson said he had tried to persuade his Cabinet it would be “eccentric” to change Prime Minister now but “I regret not to have been successful in those arguments”. He also acknowledged that “in politics, no one is remotely indispensable” as he announced his resignation as Tory leader.

To close, Mr Johnson addressed the British public, telling them: “I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but they’s the breaks.”

Boris Johnson said his arguments to stay in power were rejected due to a “herd instinct” at Westminster and said it was “painful” not to be able to deliver on his plans.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation as he announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

He said: “In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in midterm after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.

“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself. But as we’ve seen, at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves. And my friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times.”

Addressing the people of Ukraine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes”.

Speaking in Downing Street, he said: “Let me say now to the people of Ukraine, that I know that we in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes. And, at the same time, in this country we’ve been pushing forward a vast program of investment in infrastructure and skills and technology, the biggest in a century.

“Because if I have one insight into human beings, it is that genius and talent and enthusiasm and imagination are evenly distributed throughout the population, but opportunity is not, and that’s why we must keep leveling up, keep unleashing the potential of every part of the United Kingdom. If we can do that in this country, we will be the most prosperous in Europe.”

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Boris Johnson pledged to support the next leader as he said some people would be “relieved” to see him go and expressing his sadness at leaving “the best job in the world”.

He said his successor’s priorities would be “helping families to get through… cutting burdens on businesses and families, and, yes, cutting taxes because that is the way to generate the growth and the income we need to pay the great public services.

“To that new leader, I say, whoever he or she may be, I say: ‘I will give you as much support as I can’. To you, the British public, I know that there will be many people who are relieved and perhaps quite a few who will also be disappointed. I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world.”

Finally, the Prime Minister thanked his wife, family and the civil service in his speech: “I want to thank Carrie and our children, and all the members of our family who have had to put up with so much for so long.” He also thanked the “peerless British civil service” and the “fantastic NHS” who “helped to extend my own period in office”.

Boris Johnson said it had been an “immense privilege” to serve as Prime Minister and thanked the British public as he concluded his speech.

He said: “Above all, I want to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege that you have given me and I want you to know that from now on until the new prime minister is in place, your interests will be served and the Government of the country will carry on.

“Being Prime Minister is an education in itself. I have traveled to every part of the United Kingdom and in addition to the beauty of our natural world I have found so many people possessed of such boundless British originality and so willing to tackle old problems in news ways that I know that even if things seem dark now, our future together is golden. Thank you all very much. Thank you.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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