Outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a farewell speech on Tuesday, September 6, following the election of Liz Truss as party leader on Monday.
In a speech outside 10 Downing Street, the outgoing prime minister offered full support to Truss, and discussed “bouncing around in future careers” as he left office.
“Let me say that I am now like one of those booster rockets that has fulfilled its function, and I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific,” he said.
“I will be offering this government nothing but fervent support,” he said, adding: “It’s time for all of us to get behind Liz Truss and her team and her programme, and deliver for the people of this country.”
Queen Elizabeth was scheduled to formally appoint Truss as new prime minister on Tuesday. Credit: UK Prime Minister via Storyful
BORIS JOHNSON: Good morning. Thank you. Thank, well, 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 change the rules halfway through, but never mind that now.
And 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 organized 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 the 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.
And I know that Liz Truss and this compassionate conservative government will do everything we can to get people through this crisis, and this country will endure it, and we will win. And if Putin thinks that he can succeed by blackmailing or bullying the British people, then he is utterly deluded. And the reason we will have those funds now and in the future is because we, conservatives, understand the vital symmetry between government action and free market capitalist private sector enterprise.
We are delivering on those huge manifesto commitments. Making streets safer. Neighborhood crime down 38% in the last three years. 13,790 more police on the streets. Building more hospitals. And, yes, we will have 50,000 more nurses by the end of the decade and 40 more hospitals by the end of-- 50,000 nurses by the end of this parliament, I should say. 40 new hospitals by the end of the decade.
Putting record funding into our schools and into teachers pay. Giving everybody over 18, a lifetime skills guarantee so they can keep upskilling throughout their lives. Three new high-speed rail lines. Three, including Northern Powerhouse rail. Colossal road programs from the Pennines to Cornwall.
The rollout of gigabit broadband up over the last three years, I am proud to say, since you were kind enough to elect me. From 7% of our country premises having gigabit broadband to 70% today. And we are, of course, providing the short and the long-term solutions for our energy needs and not just using more of our own domestic hydrocarbons but going up by 2030 to 50 gigawatts of wind power. That is half this country's energy electricity needs from offshore wind alone.
A new nuclear reactor every year. And looking at what is happening in this country, the changes that are taking place, that is why private sector investment is flooding in. More private sector, more venture capital investment than China itself. More billion-pound tech companies sprouting here in the UK than in France, Germany, and Israel combined. And as a result, unemployment, as I leave office, unemployment down to lows not seen since I was about 10 years old and bouncing around on a space hopper, my friend.
And on the subject of-- on the subject of bouncing around in future careers, let me say that I am now like one of those booster rockets that has fulfilled its function, and I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific.
And like Cincinnatus, I am returning to my plan, and I will be offering this government nothing but the most fervent support. This is-- I'll tell you why this is a tough time for the economy. This is a tough time for families up and down the country. We can, and we will get through it, and we will come stronger the other side.
But I say to my fellow conservatives. It's time for politics to be over, folks. It's time for us all to get behind Liz Truss and her team and her program 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'm proud to have discharged the promises I made to my party when you were kind enough to choose me.
Winning the biggest majority since 1987, the biggest share of the vote since 1979. Delivering Brexit, delivering our manifesto commitments, including, by the way, including social care. Reforming social care. Helping people up and down the country. Ensuring that Britain is once again standing tall in the world.
Speaking with clarity and authority from Ukraine to the orcas pact with America and Australia because we are one whole and entire United Kingdom whose diplomats, security services, and armed forces are so globally admired.
And, by the way, as I believe-- as I leave, I believe our union is so strong that those who want to break it up, they'll keep trying, but they will never, ever succeed. Thank you to everybody behind me in this building. Thank you to all of you in government. And thank you everybody who has helped look after me and my family over the last three years, including including Dylan, the dog. And I just say to my party of Dylan and Larry can put behind them their occasional difficulties then so can the Conservative Party.
Above all, thanks to you, the British people, to the voters for giving me the chance to serve all of you who worked so tirelessly together to beat COVID, to put us where we are today. Together, we have laid foundations that will stand the test of time, whether by taking back control of our laws or putting in vital new infrastructure. Great solid masonry on which we will continue to build together. Paving the path of prosperity now and for future generations.
And I will be supporting Liz Truss and the new government every step of the way. Thank you all very much. Thank you and goodbye. Thank you.