• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Boris Johnson has bid farewell to 10 Downing Street

The outgoing prime minister’s address to the country was brought forward to an earlier time as thunderstorms are forecast to hit London this morning.

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After three years and 44 days, he stepped out into Downing Street to mark the end of a chaotic and scandal-hit premiership – fittingly, quite literally under a cloud.

He began his valedictory speech by saying: ‘Well, this is it, folks. Thank you everybody for coming out so early this morning.

‘In only a couple of hours I will be in Balmoral to see Her Majesty the Queen and the torch will finally be passed to a new Conservative leader.

‘The baton will be handed over in what has unexpectedly turned out to be a relay race – they changed the rules halfway through, but never mind that now.’

As soon Mr Johnson began his speech, protesters began playing ‘Bye Bye Boris’ from Kings Charles Street, which runs parallel to Downing Street.

The song is a remix of ‘Bye Bye Baby’ which anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray and his supporters often play during protests. Others could be heard shouting from Whitehall.

Mr Johnson also ran through his greatest hits – the coronavirus vaccine rollout and his support for Ukraine.

He said: ‘Through that lacquered black door, a new prime minister will shortly go to meet a fantastic group of public servants.

‘The people who got Brexit done. The people who delivered the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe, and never forget 70% of the entire population got a dose within six months – faster than any comparable country.

‘That is government for you. That’s this Conservative government.

‘People who organised those prompt early supplies of weapons to the heroic Ukrainian armed forces, an action that may very well have helped change the course of the biggest European war for 80 years.’

The prime minister announced his intentions to step down in July after a wave of government resignations but remained in place while the Conservative Party chose a new leader over the summer.

Confirmation of Liz Truss’ victory yesterday means he will now step aside, with his successor’s place in Number 10 set to be confirmed by the monarch later today.

His divisive period in office was set against the backdrop of two generational challenges: the Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine.

Metro