Skip to main content

Boris Johnson's Resignation statement #Its Happening

Johnson has just finished his resignation statement. 

Every few years in the UK, A conservative PM decides to resign, Boris the latest to leave Number 10.

Here's a summary of the key points:

  • Johnson said it was "clearly now the will of the parliamentary party" for there to be a new PM
  • The timetable for choosing a new PM will be announced next week
  • He said he waited so long to make the decision as he had been keen to deliver on the voters' mandate in person, saying he felt it was his duty and obligation to do what he had promised
  • He said he was immensely proud of his achievements, including getting Brexit done, getting the UK through the pandemic and leading the West in standing up to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine
  • He said the UK must "keep levelling up", adding doing so would make the country the most prosperous in Europe
  • Johnson said he tried to persuade colleagues it would be "eccentric" to change government when we have such a mandate, but regrets he was not successful in those arguments
  • He said "at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves"
  • He said he wanted to let the public know "how sad I was to give up the best job in the world" but "thems the breaks"
  • He thanked his wife Carrie, his children, the NHS , armed forces and Downing Street staff
Liz Truss:
The government under Boris's leadership had many achievements - delivering Brexit, vaccines and backing Ukraine. We need calmness and unity now and to keep governing while a new leader is found.

The PM's speech was brief. But his departure from office won't necessarily be swift.

He wanted history to know his resignation was the fault of colleagues and not himself. The "herd", as he called it, had moved quickly, despite winning the biggest majority at the 2019 general election since 1987 and attracting new voters to his party.

The subtext is that the coalition of voters - including former Labour supporters - he assembled in 2019 may break up without him to keep it together.

He referenced the bad press he received recently, but didn't spend long on any of the mistakes he may have made in office and which provoked mass resignations and a vote of no confidence.

He simply acknowledged he hadn't persuaded colleagues that he should remain in office.

He will stay on until a new leader is elected, but it is the backbench 1922 committee that will decide the timetable and some MPs want it expedited so he is not still in office until the autumn.

With new cabinet ministers in place, he does not seem in a hurry to leave. He will want a legacy that isn't obscured by the chaotic past few days.