Comparing Himself to 'Booster Rocket,' Johnson Blasts Off

British PM makes final speech, urges Brits to support successor Liz Truss
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2022 6:17 AM CDT
'This Is It, Folks' Boris Johnson's Final Speech
Boris Johnson speaks outside Downing Street in London Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 before heading to tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.   (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

In Britain, it's a day for the changing of the guard. Boris Johnson was formally tendering his resignation to the queen as he urged the nation to support his successor, Liz Truss. "This is it, folks," the 58-year-old Johnson said in his final speech before stepping down, per Sky News. He also managed to compare himself both to a rocket and a Roman statesman:

  • “I am like one of those booster rockets that has fulfilled its function,’’ Johnson said, per the AP. “I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific.’’
  • “Like Cincinnatus, I am returning to my plow,” he added. “And I will be offering this government nothing but the most fervent support.”
  • Johnson also seemed to chafe at being ousted, complaining that his own Conservative Party "changed the rules halfway through" the "relay race" of government, though he urged Brits to "get behind Liz Truss every step of the way."
  • Johnson praised his own economic leadership, but Angela Rayner, a leader in the opposition Labour party, called the speech "completely deluded about what's happened over the last couple of years and the crisis that people are facing." She also complained it had no mention of "the scandal and sleaze that has engulfed his party and his government over the last couple of years."

After his speech, Johnson flew to Scotland to meet Queen Elizabeth II at her estate in Balmoral to tender his resignation. Truss also flew there (in a separate plane, for security reasons, per the BBC) for the formal transfer of power. She will make her first speech as prime minister later in London. (More Boris Johnson stories.)

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