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Nine key points from Boris Johnson's resignation speech

BY: news.sky.com/bbc,com
Nine key points from Boris Johnson's resignation speech
Nine key points from Boris Johnson's resignation speech

Boris Johnson has said "no one in politics is remotely indispensable" as he announced his resignation as prime minister after less than three years in Number 10, Downing Street.

Speaking from Downing Street, he thanked the millions of people who voted for him and said the reason why he had fought so long to remain at Number 10 was that "I thought it was my job, my duty and my obligation to you".

Mr Johnson said it was "painful not to see it through", but added: "No one in politics is remotely indispensable."

He 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".

Mr Johnson said the process to appoint a new leader would begin now, with a timetable set out next week.

There had been intense pressure on the PM to quit after more than 50 resignations from the government payroll, and waves of backbenchers appealing for him to go.

The mass rebellion began on Tuesday after Downing Street admitted the PM knew about allegations of inappropriate behaviour against disgraced former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher in 2019, but still appointed him in February and sent ministers out to defend him.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were the first to resign on Tuesday night, but over the past 48 hours, MPs from all levels of government piled in their letters and demands for him to go.

Mr Johnson initially insisted he was staying in post, with a source inside Number 10 saying just this morning that he planned to "fight on".

But after new education secretary, Michelle Donelan - who had only been in the post for 36 hours - resigned and his freshly appointed Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi publicly called for his exit, Downing Street confirmed the PM would be resigning today.

Johnson's statement: Key points

  1. Johnson said it was "clearly now the will of the parliamentary party" for there to be a new PM
  2. The timetable for choosing a new PM will be announced next week
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. He said the UK must "keep levelling up", adding doing so would make the country the most prosperous in Europe
  6. 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
  7. He said "at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves"
  8. 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"
  9. He thanked his wife Carrie, his children, the NHS , armed forces and Downing Street staff