MPs launch scathing attack on Boris for lack of remorse in 'strange' resignation speech

7 July 2022, 14:54 | Updated: 7 July 2022, 15:06

MPs have slammed Boris Johnson
MPs have slammed Boris Johnson. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Emma Soteriou

MPs have slammed Boris Johnson for not showing any contrition in his "very strange" resignation speech.

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Mr Johnson rattled off Brexit, Covid and Ukraine as successes during his premiership, but failed to show any hint of regret or provide an apology for the series of scandals that also came under his leadership.

He also refused to outright say he was "resigning" instead explaining: "It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party and so a new prime minister.

"I've agreed with Sir Graham Brady... that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now."

Chairman of the Committee on Standards Chris Bryant told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that he did not believe Mr Johnson had resigned at all, condemning Mr Johnson's words.

"He hasn't resigned so far as I can see," said Mr Bryant.

"He's always boasted how he doesn't abide by the rules, I wouldn't be surprised if he spends the next three months – if he's allowed three months - trying to stay in office.

"Conservative MPs will have to take much more decisive action."

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He added: "The speech was saying 'I'm a wonderful person, isn't it all terribly sad, poor old victim me.'"

"So lacking in self-awareness or self-knowledge – there's something clinical about it.

"He didn't even know where he was."

Speaking about what should happen next, he said: "I would favour tabling a motion of no confidence - the whole of the Conservative party has been corrupted by this."

He added: "None of them have any integrity now, but the one thing they could do is they could hasten the leadership election, get it all done by the summer recess."

"I'd love a general election because I think we need to get rid of the lot of them," Mr Bryant went on to say.

"I also care about my country and I want a proper Prime Minister in place."

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen echoed the words of opposition MP Chris Bryant, telling LBC: "I thought it was a very strange resignation statement - short, he didn't mention the word resign or resignation once, I saw little contrition or apology in the so-called resignation speech - it all appeared to be someone else's fault.

"Probably those horrible backbench MPs that lost confidence in him. It was very Boris Johnson right to the end."

Mr Johnson's full speech ran shorter than both his predecessors - Theresa May and David Cameron - coming in at just over six minutes.

However, Mr Bridgen also admitted that "even after all of this", if Labour puts forward a vote of no confidence in the Government, Tory MPs will vote in support of Boris Johnson.

Meanwhile, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "[Boris] has been the architect of most of the poison that we've seen in our public discourse."

He added that Mr Johnson's description of Partygate - among other scandals - as "sledging" was "awful".

"We can't allow this man to sit in office one minute longer," Mr Blackford went on to say.

He urged that Boris Johnson "must go today" to salvage a Government "in crisis".

Mr Johnson's former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, also slammed the PM's speech on Twitter.

"In character - Blames everyone else - Thinks he's the real victim - Sets up betrayal story for future Tory conferences & Telegraph columns," he said.

"We're all in for a nightmare if he's allowed to squat."

Protests and jeering could be heard from members of the public surrounding Downing Street for the Mr Johnson's speech.

He received a mixed response with others cheering him on as he said his farewell.