James O'Brien's instant reaction to Boris Johnson's resignation speech

7 July 2022, 13:40 | Updated: 7 July 2022, 14:43

By Fiona Jones

This is James O'Brien's instant reaction to the Prime Minister's resignation.

Boris Johnson has resigned after months of scandals and a torrent of Tory resignations clearing the way for a new Tory leader and Prime Minister this autumn.

In an address outside No10, the defeated PM finally announced his "painful" decision to quit after conceding he could no longer cling on.

Mr Johnson, watched by wife Carrie Johnson and a crowd of MPs and staffers, 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 said he will serve until a new leader is in place: "We must keep levelling up, keep unleashing the potential of every part of the United Kingdom."

He said that in politics, no one is "remotely indispensable," adding "our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader", adding that he was giving up "the best job in the world."

James O'Brien branded the speech "abysmal": "There was not a single syllable of contrition, apology, or acknowledgement of the behaviours that have brought him to this pass.

"It was almost as if Boris Johnson was complaining that he was being unfairly treated, that the MPs who have decided they can no longer tolerate his lies and his base deceptions are unreasonable, or unworthy of passing judgement on the great Boris Johnson himself.

"Not a single reference to the lies, not a mention of the deputy chief whip whose promotion despite the Prime Minister knowing of the allegations of misconduct...not a mention of the colleagues who had walked away."

He continued: "Absolutely unbelievable that even then and there he still casts himself as a victim. Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink. Boris Johnson right until the last demonstrating self-obsession that even in the crucible of politics are absolutely off the scale."

He questioned what will happen next, fearing "we could spending the whole of autumn with the most ridiculous regime imaginable in place, and I thought the last one, which he also headed up was the most ridiculous regime imaginable."

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