Johnson bows out – finally
Ousted Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged his “fervent support” for successor Liz Truss as he finally left Downing Street this morning after a protracted two month farewell.
But he couldn’t resist likening himself himself to a 6thcentury Roman statesman, Cincinnatus, known for his selflessness and service to the state and who made a return to politics.
And in a 7 minute 40 second summation of his little over three years in Downing Street – he falsely claimed to have won the biggest Parliamentary majority since Margaret Thatcher – that was won by Tony Blair and New Labour.
Johnson said his successor’s administration would do “everything we can” to help people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
He and Liz Truss set off, separately, to Balmoral where he is offering his resignation and the Queen is appointing her as his successor as PM.
Johnson said Vladimir Putin was “utterly deluded” if he thought he could succeed by “blackmailing and bullying” the British public through restricting gas supplies, driving up world prices.
“We have and will continue to have that economic strength to give people the cash they need to get through this energy crisis that has been caused by Putin’s vicious war.
“I know that Liz Truss and this compassionate Conservative government will do everything we can to get people through this crisis and this country will endure it and we will win.”
Johnson, watched by wife Carrie and supportive MPs including Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg, delivered his latest farewell address around 7:30 am from a podium outside the black door of No 10.
In a sign of lingering resentment at the manner in which he was forced out, Mr Johnson said “the baton will be handed over in what has unexpectedly turned out to be a relay race, they changed the rules halfway through, but never mind that now”.
He said his career was now like a booster rocket “that has fulfilled its function and I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific”.
He claimed: “I will be offering this government nothing but my most fervent support”, calling for Tories to unite behind the new leader at a “tough time for the economy”.
“I say to my fellow Conservatives, it’s time for politics to be over, folks,” he said.
“It’s time for us all to get behind Liz Truss and her team, and her programme, and deliver for the people of this country.
“Because that is what the people of this country want. That’s what they need.
“And that’s what they deserve.”