Boris Johnson resignation speech: 'Them's the breaks' - Prime Minister says no one is indispensable in politics
The Prime Minister aims to continue in the role for several months until a new leader can be elected, as prospective candidates called for unity, calm, and “a clean start”.
Announcing his resignation in Downing Street, 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.
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/boris-johnson-resigned-what-did-boris-say-and-boris-johnsons-resignation-speech-in-full-3760054" title="READ MORE: Boris Johnson’s resignation speech in full">READ MORE: Boris Johnson’s resignation speech in full
"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 a new leader is in place."
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 acknowledged that "in politics, no one is remotely indispensable".
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 them's the breaks."
Boris Johnson said he sought to stay Prime Minister because he felt it was his "obligation" to continue to do what the Tories promised in 2019.
"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."
It comes after days of drama in which Boris Johnson saw dozens of government ministers and cabinet secretaries resign in protest at the Tory party’s constant dishonesty.
Senior Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, seen as a potential contender to replace Boris Johnson, said that the Conservative Party needs a "clean start".
He tweeted: "Right call by Boris Johnson to resign. Delivered Brexit, rolled out the vaccine and led on Ukraine.
"Now we need a clean start."
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the Conservative Party needed "calmness and unity" until a new leader is elected.
She tweeted: "The PM has made the right decision.
"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."
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.