““Stay close to the Americans; stick up for the Ukrainians; stick up for freedom and democracy everywhere. Cut taxes and deregulate wherever you can to make this the greatest place to live and invest, which it is.” ”
— U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Those were outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s words of advice for his successor, which he delivered in his final question session in the U.K. House of Commons on Wednesday.
Johnson officially remains in his post until early September, when his successor will be elected. But the Members of Parliament (aka MPs) go on their summer break on Thursday, so this was Johnson’s final question session before the MPs before he steps down.
Johnson also urged his to-be-determined replacement to “focus on the road ahead, but always remember to check the rear-view mirror.” And he drew a big cheer by adding, “And remember, above all, it’s not Twitter that counts; it’s the people that sent us here.”
He signed off by saying that his mission was “largely accomplished,” and then channeled Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Terminator” by ending with, “Hasta la vista, baby.”
Tory MPs gave him a standing ovation when he was done, even though many in his own party had recently forced him to resign in disgrace following months of scandal, as the Associated Press reported. Johnson was fined by police and criticized in an investigator’s report for allowing rule-breaking parties in his office while Britain was in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. Another recent report revealed that Johnson knew about sexual misconduct allegations against a Conservative lawmaker before he promoted him to a senior position in government. Johnson has also been accused of protecting supporters from bullying and corruption allegations.
Britain’s Conservative Party will select two finalists to become the next prime minister Wednesday, with former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt vying for the run-off spots. Those two finalists will square off, and the 180,000 members of the Conservative Party will select the next leader, which will be announced Sept. 5.
The winner will be inheriting a slew of economic challenges as the U.K.’s next prime minister, including rampant inflation and soaring energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as Brexit.
Read more about Johnson’s resignation, and the race for his replacement, below: