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Boris Johnson’s resignation speech explained

This article was originally submitted on July 7.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a speech in front of 10 Downing Street at noon following his resignation announcement to Sir Graham Brady earlier today [July 7].

“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.

“I have agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our back bench committee, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week.

“I have appointed a cabinet to serve as I will until a new leader is in place.”

Addressing Ukrainians, he noted that the UK will continue to stand up against “Putin’s aggression in Ukraine”.

Johnson criticized his colleagues for asking for a change of government when they are “delivering so much”, such as the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the Conservative government has been under attack from both the media and opposition parties who have argued that their delayed and mishandled responses to the pandemic have caused otherwise preventable deaths.

Earlier this year, Boris Johnson and the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishni Sunak were fined for breaching Covid-19 rules at Johnson’s birthday party at 10 Downing Street on 19 June 2020.

Johnson called the historic resignation of 52 Conservative MPs in three days which ultimately pressured him to resign “herd instinct”, saying:

“As we’ve seen at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves. And my friends, in politics, no one is remotely indispensable, and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times.”

Resignations started with Rishi Sunak and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid following Johnson’s apology speech about appointing Chris Pincher as the party’s deputy chief whip, who has been accused of sexual misconduct numerous times.

Johnson’s spokesman claimed that Johnson did not know about the ‘specific allegations’, however, it was later revealed that he was in fact informed before he put Pincher in the position of power but had
‘forgotten’.

In his letter of resignation, Javid wrote:

“The tone you set as a leader, and the values you represent, reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country.”

Javid tweeted that he could “no longer continue in good conscience”.

Image “Boris Johnson Cabinet Meeting” by Number 10 is licenced under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.