Boris Johnson resign as Conservative leader
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Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister today, ending two-and-a-half chaotic years in office after agreeing to a peaceful handover. He will remain at Downing Street as a caretaker over the summer while the Conservative Party elects a new leader to replace him in the autumn. A broad field of potential replacements has emerged to compete for his position after he delivered a defiant statement from the steps of No 10.
Mr Johnson said: “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of the party and therefore a new prime minister.”
He added: “Of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects.
“We’ve seen in Westminster there is a herd instinct. When the herd moves it moves and in politics nobody is remotely indispensable.
“Thank you for that incredible mandate… I tried to stay in post not just not just because I wanted to do so, but because I felt it was my job, my duty.”
“I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks.”
He added: “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.”
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