Jul 23, 2019
Boris Johnson Speech Transcript: Boris Johnson Elected Prime Minister of UK
Brexit proponent Boris Johnson beat out Jeremy Hunt on July 23, 2019 and has been elected as prime minister of the United Kingdom. Rev has the full transcript of his first speech as prime minister.
Boris Johnson: (00:00)
Well, thank you very much. Good morning, everybody. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you, Cheryl. Thank you, everybody. Good morning. Okay, right. Thank you so much.
Boris Johnson: (00:07)
Thank you, Cheryl. Thank you, Charles. Thank you very much, Brandon, for a fantastic, fantastic, well organized campaign. I think it did a lot of credit, as Brandon has just said, to our party, to our values, and to our ideals. But I want to begin by thanking my opponent, Jeremy. Like [inaudible 00:00:38] said, an absolutely formidable campaigner and a great leader and a great politician.
Boris Johnson: (00:43)
Jeremy, in the course of 20 Hustings or Hustings-style events, it was more than 3000 miles. It was about 7000 miles that we did criss-crossing the country. You’ve been friendly, you’ve been good-natured, you’ve been a font of excellent ideas, all of which I propose to steal forthwith.
Boris Johnson: (01:05)
And above all, I want to thank our outgoing leader, Theresa May, for her extraordinary service to this party and to this country. It was a privilege to serve in her cabinet, and to see the passion and determination that she brought to the many causes that are her legacy, from equal pay for men and women, to tackling the problems of mental health and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Thank you, Theresa. Thank you.
Boris Johnson: (01:47)
And I want to thank all of you, all of you here today and obviously everybody in the Conservative party for your hard work, for your campaigning, for your public spirit, and obviously for the extraordinary honor and privilege that you have just conferred on me. And I know that there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision.
Boris Johnson: (02:15)
And there may even be some people here who still wonder quite what they have done, and I would just point out to you that of course nobody, no one party, no one person has a monopoly of wisdom. But if you look at the history of the last 200 years of this party’s existence, you will see that it is we conservatives who have had the best insights, I think, into human nature, and the best insights into how to manage the jostling sets of instincts in the human heart. And time and again, it is to us that the people of this country have turned to get that balance right, between the instincts to own your own home to earn and spend your own money, to look after your own family. Good instincts. Proper instincts. Noble instincts.
Boris Johnson: (03:08)
And the equally noble instinct to share and to give everyone a fair chance in life. And to look after the poorest and the neediest, and to build a great society. And on the whole of the last 200 years, it is we conservatives who have understood best how to encourage those instincts to work together in harmony to promote the good of the whole country.
Boris Johnson: (03:33)
And, today, at this pivotal moment in our history, we again have to reconcile two noble sets of instincts between the deep desire for friendship and free trade and mutual support and security and defense between Britain and our European partners and the simultaneous desire, equally deep and heartfelt, for democratic self-government in this country. And of course, as some people say, they’re irreconcilable, and they just can’t be done.
Boris Johnson: (04:13)
And, indeed, I read in my Financial Times this morning, devoted reader that I am … Seriously. It’s a great British brand. I read in my Financial Times this morning that no incoming leader has ever faced such a daunting set of circumstances, it said. Well, I look at you this morning and I ask myself, do you look daunted? Do you feel daunted? I don’t think you look remotely daunted to me, and I think that we know that we can do it, and that the people of this country are trusting in us to do it, and we know that we will do it.
Boris Johnson: (04:52)
And we know the mantra of the campaign that has just gone by. In case you’ve forgotten it … You probably have. It is deliver Brexit, unite the country, and defeat Jeremy Corbyn. And that is what we’re going to do. We’re going to defeat Jeremy Corbyn.
Boris Johnson: (05:08)
And I know some waggle’s already pointed out that “deliver, unite, and defeat” was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign, since unfortunately it spells “dud,” but they forgot the final “e,” my friends. “E” for energize, and I say to all the doubters, dude, we are going to energize the country. We’re going to get Brexit done on October the 31st. We’re going to take advantage of all the opportunities that it will bring in a new spirit of can-do, and we are once again going to believe in ourselves and what we can achieve. And like some slumbering giant, we are going to rise and ping off the guy-ropes of self-doubt and negativity with better education, better infrastructure, more police, fantastic full fiber broadband sprouting in every household. We are going to unite this amazing country, and we are going to take it forward.
Boris Johnson: (06:12)
I thank you all very much for the incredible honor that you have just done me. I will work flat-out from now on with my team that I will build, I hope, in the next few days to repay your confidence, but in the meantime, the campaign is over and the work begins. Thank you all very much.