Outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson’s farewell speech offered a unity call to his successor Liz Truss’s government, saying it’s “time for politics to be over” and for the party to stop infighting.
In a brief early-morning address to a packed crowd outside the famous black door of Number 10, Boris Johnson said the torch had been passed on.
In a dig to those who turfed him out of office, he 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.”
In a nod to civil servants, he said he’d be going to Balmoral to resign formally, before Liz Truss would be meet Her Majesty the Queen, and then be introduced to “the people who got Brexit done and delivered the vaccine rollout”.
He said the incoming “compassionate conservative government will do everything” to stop Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, and said the UK would not give in to his “blackmail” over energy.
“I know that Liz Truss and this Government will do everything we can to get everybody through the energy crisis. It is time for politics to be over, to get behind Liz Truss and deliver for the people of this country”.
Johnson heralded his premiership for pursuing wind and nuclear power, before reflecting on his role after leaving Downing Street.
He signed off comparing himself to a “booster rocket who’s now gently splashing down” and that from the backbenches he would be “offering nothing but fervent support for Liz Truss”.
In a light-hearted finale and call for unity among colleagues, he said if his dog “Dylan and Larry the cat can put aside differences then so too can the Conservative Party”.