Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street in London, England on July 7. (Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Here is Johnson’s full resignation speech:

Good afternoon everyone. Good afternoon. Thanks. Thanks. It is now clearly the will of the Conservative parliamentary party that there is a new leader of that party and therefore a new Prime Minister, and I have agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbenchers, that the process of choosing this 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.

So I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019, many of whom voted Conservative for the first time. Thank you for an incredible term – the largest Conservative majority since 1987, the largest one-vote share since 1979.

And the reason I fought so hard over the past few days to continue to fulfill this mandate in person was not only because I wanted to do it, but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to keep doing what we promised in 2019.

And of course I am immensely proud of the achievements of this Government – from delivering Brexit to sorting out our relationship with the Continent for over half a century, to reclaiming from this country the power to make its own laws in Parliament , taking us through the pandemic, delivering Europe’s fastest vaccine deployment, the fastest exit from lockdown and, in recent months, leading the West to resist Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.

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

And at the same time, in this country, we are pushing forward a massive program of investment in infrastructure, skills and technology — the largest in a century. Because if I had any idea of ​​human beings, it’s that genius, talent, enthusiasm and imagination are evenly distributed in the population. But the opportunity is not. And that’s why we need to keep moving forward, keep unlocking the potential in all parts of the UK. And if we succeed, in this country, we will be the most prosperous in Europe.

And over the past few days I have tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we are doing so much, when we have such a broad mandate and when in fact we only have a handful of points behind in the polls – even at mid-term after several months and quite a relentless sled – and when the economic scene is so tough domestically and internationally.

I regret not having succeeded in these arguments, and of course, it is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself. But as we saw in Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful when the herd moves, it moves.

And my friends in politics, no one is absolutely essential, and our brilliant, Darwinian system will produce another leader who is equally determined to move this country forward through difficult times. Not only by helping families get by, but by changing and improving the way we do things – by reducing the burdens on businesses and families and yes, by reducing taxes, because that is how we will generate the growth and revenue we need to pay for great public services.

And to this new leader, I say wherever he is, I say I will give you all the support I can. And to you, the British public – I know a lot of people will be relieved and maybe a few will be disappointed too. And I want you to know how sad I am to give up the best job in the world. But these are the breaks.

I want to thank Carrie and our children to all my family members who have had to put up with so much for so long. I would like to thank the incomparable British Civil Service for all the help and support you have given to our police, our emergency services and of course our fantastic NHS who at a critical time helped to extend my own period in office, as well as our armed forces and agencies that are so admired around the world and our tireless members and supporters of the Conservative Party whose selfless campaigning makes our democracy possible.

I want to thank the wonderful staff here at Checkers – here at number 10 – and of course Checkers and our fantastic support force detectives, the only group by the way that never leaks.

Above all, I would like to thank you, the British public, for the immense privilege you have bestowed upon me. And I want you to know that from now until the new Prime Minister is in place, your interests will be served and the government of the country will continue.

Being Prime Minister is an education in itself. I have traveled to all parts of the UK and in addition to the beauty of our natural world, I have found so many people with such boundless British originality and so willing to tackle old issues in new ways, that I know that even though things may sometimes look bleak now, our future together is golden.

Thank you very much to all. Thanks.


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