LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson said on Thursday he was resigning as Britain’s prime minister, bowing to calls from ministerial colleagues and lawmakers in his Conservative Party.
Below are some reactions:
KEIR STARMER, LEADER OF OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY
“It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister.
“But it should have happened long ago. He was always unfit for office. He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale.”
JUSTIN TOMLINSON, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF CONSERVATIVE PARTY
“I was Team Boris, as the GE (general election) showed he was our star player who connected across traditional political divides. Yes there were ups and downs, but he turbo-charged social mobility and opportunity.
“His resignation was inevitable. As a Party we must quickly unite and focus on what matters. These are serious times on many fronts.”
ALISTER JACK, SCOTLAND MINISTER:
“I am sad to see Boris Johnson stand down as Prime Minister. He has achieved a huge amount in office, including delivering Brexit, supporting the country through COVID, and leading the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Most importantly, he has worked tirelessly to strengthen the Union.”
KWASI KWARTENG, BUSINESS MINISTER
“What a depressing state of affairs. So much needless damage caused.
“We now need a new Leader as soon as practicable. Someone who can rebuild trust, heal the country, and set out a new, sensible and consistent economic approach to help families.
“The wheels of Government must continue in the meantime.”
SENIOR CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER
“Relief basically. And also sadness at a missed opportunity. A man destroyed by his own fundamental flaws.”
GEORGE FREEMAN, CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER AND FORMER MINISTER
“We need Ministers back at their desks.
“Now PM has finally done the decent thing he needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty, allow her to appoint a Caretaker under whom Ministers can serve, so the Conservative Party can choose a new leader properly.”
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER
“There will be a widespread sense of relief that the chaos of the last few days (indeed months) will come to an end, though notion of Boris Johnson staying on as PM until autumn seems far from ideal, and surely not sustainable?”
MICHELLE O’NEILL, LEADER OF SINN FEIN IN NORTHERN IRELAND
“It has been an utter absurdity that the people here have been subjected to Boris Johnson for any length of time. He is a figure of absolute disrepute. Anyone who tries to sabotage our peace agreements, a quarter century of progress and our shared future is truly no friend of ours.”
DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN
“He doesn’t like us, we don’t like him either.”
VYACHESLAV VOLODIN, RUSSIAN DUMA SPEAKER
“He is one of the main ideologues of the war against Russia until the last Ukrainian. European leaders should think about where such a policy leads.”
MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON
“Boris Johnson was hit by a boomerang launched by himself … His comrades-in-arms turned him in.”
“The moral of the story is: do not seek to destroy Russia … Russia cannot be destroyed. You can break your teeth on it – and then choke on them.”
EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESPERSON
“From our point of view, the political developments do not change our position on the (Northern Ireland) protocol or the way in which we work with our British counterparts on Northern Ireland.
“Our position is that we should endeavour to seek solutions as regards to the implementation of the protocol.”
(Reporting by William James, Muvija M and Alistair Smout; Editing by Kate Holton and Andrew Heavens)