‘This is it folks’ Boris leaves Downing Street in bullish style

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Mr Johnson took a swipe at the Tories who turned on him for “changing the rules” and hinted he has not ruled out a comeback. But he said it was time for the party to unite after the bitter leadership contest of the summer.

“I say to my fellow Conservatives, it’s time for politics to be over, folks,” he said.

“It’s time for us all to get behind Liz Truss and her team, and her programme, and deliver for the people of this country. Because that is what the people of this country want. That’s what they need. And that’s what they deserve.”

Mr Johnson was cheered by wife Carrie and a crowd of allies as he gave the speech at 7.30am from a lectern in Downing Street before flying to see the Queen in Scotland.

He praised the “fantastic” public servants who help to get Brexit done and deliver the fastest Covid vaccine roll out in Europe.

“That is government for you – that’s this conservative government,” he said.

“The 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

“And because of the speed and urgency of what you did – everybody involved in this government, to get this economy moving again from July last year in spite of all opposition, all the naysayers we have and will continue to have that economic strength to give people the cash they need to get through this energy crisis that has been caused by Putin’s vicious war.”

Mr Johnson said his successor will do everything possible to get people through the energy crisis.

This country will endure it and we will win,” he said.

 “And if Putin thinks that he can succeed by blackmailing or bullying the British people then he is utterly deluded.”

Mr Johnson joked that if his rescue dog Dilyn and “Larry the cat”, the No 10 mouser,  can “put behind them their occasional difficulties”, then so can the Tory party.

But he made it clear he remains unhappy about the way he was forced out of office just three years into the job.

He said: “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 nevermind that now.”

Mr Johnson said his government had “laid foundations that will stand the test of time”, from taking back control of laws to putting in vital new infrastructure.

“I will be supporting Liz Truss and the new government every step of the way,” he added.

Mr Johnson said that he is now “like one of those booster rockets” that has fulfilled its function.

“I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the pacific.”

But he fuelled speculation that he could one day have another tilt at the top job with a reference to ancient Roman statesman Cincinnatus, who was recalled to save Rome a second time.

Mr Johnson said though it is a tough time for the country “we will come out stronger the other side”.

But he added: “I say to my fellow Conservatives it is time for the politics to be over folks and it’s time for us all to get behind Liz Truss and her programme and deliver for the people of this country because that is what the people of this country want, that’s what they need and that’s what they deserve.”

“I am proud to have discharged the promises I made my party when you were kind enough to choose me, winning the biggest majority since 1987 and the biggest share of the vote since 1979, delivering Brexit,  delivering our manifesto commitments – including social care – helping people up and down the country, ensuring that Britain is once again standing tall in the world.”

Mr Johnson and his wife headed off to applause to fly to Balmoral where they spent almost 40 minutes with the Queen as the transition of power formally took place.

Tory MPs praised Mr Johnson for the work he has done to keep the country on track in turbulent times.

Conservative Jane Hunt said: “I was in Downing Street this morning to hear the final speech by Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.”

“Thanks Boris for delivering Brexit, for guiding us through difficult times during the pandemic, for the vaccine rollout, for supporting Ukraine,” she added.

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