The Spectator

Full text: Boris Johnson’s final speech as Prime Minister

'Like Cincinnatus I am returning to my plough'

(Credit: Getty images)

Well, this is it folks. Thanks to all of you for coming out so early this morning. 

In only a couple of hours from now 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 half-way 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 roll out in Europe, and never forget – 70 per cent 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. 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 strengthto give people the cash they need to get through this energy crisis that has been caused by Putin’s vicious war.

Like Cincinnatus I am returning to my plough

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

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