British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks from 10 Downing Street in London on Thursday.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks from 10 Downing Street in London on Thursday. (Maja Smiejkowska/Reuters)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed the “herd instinct” of his colleagues for why he had to resign as Conservative Party leader during a defiant speech some criticized as lacking humility.

Here are some of the other key lines from the speech:

Johnson acknowledges the will of the Conservative Party, saying the timetable for departure to come soon

“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, and I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now, and the timetable will be announced next week. 

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

He says he held off resigning due to the large mandate won at the last general election

“And the reason I have fought so hard in the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person was not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019.”

The UK will continue to support the plight of Ukrainians

“And let me say now, to the people of Ukraine, that I know that we in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.”

He said it was “eccentric” to be forced out while government was “delivering so much”

“And in the last few days, I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much, 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 and pretty relentless sledging — and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.”

He blames his defenestration on the “herd instinct” of his colleagues

“But as we’ve seen in Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful when the herd moves, it moves.”

He says “no one is indispensable” and believes new Conservative leader can fix Britain’s problems

“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. Not just helping families to get through it, but changing and improving the way we do things — cutting burdens on businesses and families and yes, cutting taxes, because that is the way to generate the growth and the income we need to pay for great public services.” 

While sad to go, Johnson will support whoever becomes the new leader

“And to that new leader, I say wherever he or she may be, I say I will give you as much support as I can. And to you, the British public — I know that there will be many people who are relieved and perhaps quite a few will also be disappointed. And I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks.”

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Mr Blow Up