This is what Boris Johnson said in his speech to the nation after agreeing to resign as Prime Minister
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Speaking in Downing Street, he said it was “clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader” as he announced his resignation on national television this afternoon (July 7).
He said he was “immensely proud of the achievements of this Government”, from getting Brexit done to getting the UK through the pandemic, and leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.
Johnson said he 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”.
But he acknowledged that “in politics, no one is remotely indispensable” as he announced his resignation as Tory leader.
He said: “In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in midterm after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.
“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.
“But as we’ve seen, at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, 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.”
He signed off by telling the British public: “I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them’s the breaks", adding he was “immensely proud” of the Government’s achievements.
“From getting Brexit done to settling our relations with the continent for over half a century, reclaiming the power for this country to make its own laws in Parliament, getting us all through the pandemic, delivering the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe, the fastest exit from lockdown, and, in the last few months, leading the West in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.”