Boris Johnson said on Thursday he was resigning as Britain’s prime minister, bowing to calls from fellow ministers and MPs in his Conservative Party.
Below is the opening text of a speech he gave outside his official Downing Street residence in which he announced his resignation:
“It is clear that the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party is to have a new leader of that party and therefore a new Prime Minister, and I agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of electing that new leader should start now and the schedule will be announced next week. And today I appointed a cabinet to serve as I will until the new leader is in place.
“I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019, many of whom were voting Conservative for the first time: ‘Thank you for this incredible mandate, the biggest Conservative majority since 1987, the biggest share from the votes of 1979.’
“And the reason I fought so hard these last few days to continue to carry out this mandate personally was not simply because I wanted to, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019.
“And of course I am extremely proud of this government’s achievements: from delivering Brexit to settling our relationship with the continent for more than half a century. Restoring this country’s power to make its own laws in parliament, getting us all through the pandemic, getting the fastest vaccine spread in Europe, the fastest exit from lockdown and for the past few months leading the West in opposition to Putin aggression in Ukraine”.