Wednesday 18 September 2019

'Never mind the backstop - the buck stops here': Boris Johnson's first speech as the new UK prime minister

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside Number 10, Downing Street. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside Number 10, Downing Street. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Britain's new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, delivers a speech outside Downing Street, in London. Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London. Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Here is Boris Johnson's first speech as Prime Minister as delivered in Downing Street:

"Good afternoon.

"I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen who has invited me to form a Government and I have accepted.

"I pay tribute to the fortitude and patience of my predecessor and her deep sense of public service.

"But in spite of all her efforts it has become clear that there are pessimists at home and abroad who think after three years of indecision that this country has become a prisoner to the old arguments of 2016 and in this home of democracy we are incapable of honouring a democratic mandate.

"And so I am standing before you today to tell you the British people that those critics are wrong.

"The doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters, they are going to get it wrong again.

"The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy and we are going to fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts.

1163962517.jpg
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside Number 10, Downing Street. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

"And we will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support.

"I have every confidence that in 99 days time we will have cracked it.

"But you know what, we are not going to wait 99 days because the British people have had enough of waiting.

"The time has come to act, to take decisions, to give strong leadership and to change this country for the better.

"And though the Queen has just honoured me with this extraordinary office of state, my job is to serve you, the people.

"Because if there is one point we politicians need to remember it is that the people are our bosses.

"My job is to make your streets safer and we are going to begin with another 20,000 police on the streets and we start recruiting forthwith.

POLITICS (727).jpg
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London. Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

"My job is to make sure you don't have to wait three weeks to see your GP and we start work this week with 20 new hospital upgrades and ensuring that the money for the NHS really does get to the front line.

"My job is to protect you, or your parents or grandparents, from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care and so I am announcing now on the steps of Downing Street that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve."

"My job is to make sure your kids get a superb education wherever they are in the country and that's why we have already announced we are going to level up per-pupil funding in primary and secondary schools.

"And that is the work that begins immediately behind that black door.

"And though I am today building a great team of men and women I will take personal responsibility for the change I want to see.

"Never mind the backstop - the buck stops here.

"And I'll tell you something else about my job.

U-LEADER (107).jpg
Boris Johnson at his new residence in 10 Downing Street Photo: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

"It is to be Prime Minister of the whole United Kingdom and that means uniting our country, answering at last the plea of the forgotten people and the left-behind towns by physically and literally renewing the ties that bind us together.

"So that with safer streets and better education and fantastic new road and rail infrastructure and full fibre broadband we level-up across Britain.

"With higher wages, a higher living wage, higher productivity, we close the opportunity gap giving millions of young people the chance to own their own homes.

"And giving business the confidence to invest across the UK.

"Because it is time we unleashed the productive power, not just of London and the South East, but of every corner of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"The awesome foursome that are incarnated in that red, white and blue flag; who together are so much more than the sum of their parts and whose brand and political personality is admired and even loved around the world for our inventiveness, for our humour, for our universities, our scientists, our armed forces, our diplomacy.

"For the equalities on which we insist: whether race or gender or LGBT or the right of every girl in the world to 12 years of quality education."

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News