British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday that he is stepping down. This is a transcript of his speech, slightly edited for spelling, according to Reuters.
“It is now clear that the will of the Parliamentary Conservative Party is that there should be a new leader of this party and therefore a new Prime Minister, and I agreed with Sir Graham Brady, President of our Parliamentary Parliament, that the process of choosing a new leader should start now and the schedule will be announced next week. And today I appointed a cabinet that will serve until a new leader takes his place.
“So I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019, many of whom voted Conservative for the first time: “Thank you for this incredible mandate, the largest Conservative majority since 1987, the largest share of the vote since 1979.
“And the reason why I fought so hard in the last few days to continue personally to carry out this mandate was not only because I wanted to do it, but also because I felt that it was my job, my duty. , it is my duty to you to continue doing what we promised in 2019.
“And, of course, I am immensely proud of the achievements of this government, from implementing Brexit to settling our relationship with the continent for more than half a century, restoring the right of this country to make its own laws in parliament, getting us through the pandemic, ensuring the fastest possible deployment of a vaccine in Europe, the fastest exit from quarantine, and in the last few months leading the West in countering Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.
“And let me tell the people of Ukraine that I know that we in the UK will continue to support your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.
“And at the same time, in this country, we are advancing a massive investment program in infrastructure, skills and technology, the largest in a century. Because if I have one idea about people, it’s that genius, talent, enthusiasm and imagination are evenly distributed among the population, but opportunities are not. And that is why we must continue to improve, to continue to unlock the potential in every part of the UK. And if we could do this, in this country we would be the most prosperous in Europe.
“And in the past few days, I have been trying to convince my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we are doing so much and when we have such a broad mandate and when we really have only a few points. lags behind in the polls, even in the medium term after months of fairly relentless struggle and when the economic scene is so difficult at home and abroad.
“And I regret that I did not succeed in these arguments, and, of course, it hurts not to be able to figure out many ideas and projects on my own. But, as we saw in Westminster, the herd instinct is strong, and when the herd moves, it moves. And my friends, in politics there is no one even remotely indispensable, and our brilliant Darwinian system will create another leader just as committed to leading this country forward in times of trouble, not only helping families get through this, but changing and improving that. how do we do things by reducing the burden on businesses and families, and yes, by lowering taxes, because that’s a way to ensure the growth and income we need to pay for great public services.
“And I say to this new leader, wherever he or she is, I say I will give you as much support as I can.
“As for you, the British public, I know that many people will be relieved, and perhaps quite a few who will also be disappointed. And I want you to know how sad I am to turn down the best job in the world. But these are breaks.
“I want to thank Carrie and our children, all the members of my family who have had to endure so much for so long. I want to thank the incomparable British Civil Service for all the help and support you have given to our police force, our emergency services and of course our fantastic National Health Service which at a critical time helped extend my own tenure as well as our the armed forces and our agencies, so admired throughout the world, and our tireless members and supporters of the Conservative Party, whose dedicated campaign makes our democracy possible.
“I want to thank the amazing staff here at No. 10, and of course the Checkers, as well as our fantastic detectives, by the way, the only group that never leaks.
“First of all, I want to thank you, the British public, for the great privilege you have given me. And I want you to know that from now until the new prime minister takes his place, your interests will be served and the government of the country will continue.
“Being a prime minister is an education in itself. I have traveled to every corner of the United Kingdom and in addition to the beauty of our natural world I have found so many people with such a boundless British identity and willingness to solve old problems in new ways that I know that even if things can sometimes seem bleak now, our joint future is golden.
“Thank you all very much”.