Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer calls for ‘fresh start for Britain’ as Boris Johnson quits as PM
Sir Keir said criticised the Tory party for inflicting “chaos” and called for “a proper change of Government”
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Boris Johnson has announced he is quitting his post after mass resignations from ministers and MPs made clear his position was untenable.
Mr Johnson will remain as Prime Minister until a successor is in place, which is expected to be by the time of the Conservative Party conference in October. He will make a statement later today confirming the decision.
More than 50 MPs have resigned from government or party roles since Tuesday night (5 July), when the resignation avalanche was activated by the resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid from the Cabinet.
What did Sir Keir Starmer say?
The Labour leader said it is “good news for the country” that Mr Johnson is resigning, but said “it should have happened long ago”.
Sir Keir posted a statement in response to the news on social media, writing on Twitter: “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. And all those who have been complicit should be utterly ashamed.
“The Tory party have inflicted chaos upon the country during the works cost of living crisis in decades and they cannot now pretend they are the ones to sort it out. They have been in power for 12 years.
“The damage they have done is profound. 12 years of economic stagnation, 12 years of declining public services, 12 years of empty promises. Enough is enough.
“We don’t need to change the Tory at the top - we need a proper change of government.
“We need a fresh start for Britain.”
What did Sir Keir say during PMQs?
On 6 July, after a series of resignations, Sir Keir condemned Mr Johnson for his decision to promote disgraced former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher in October 2019, despite his know history of sexually predatory behaviour.
Sir Keir mocked the Prime Minister’s ‘dying’ political career and said any Tory MP who still backed him did not have a “shred of integrity”.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday (6 July), Mr Johnson insisted he was not going to “trivialise what happened” when asked if he ever said “Pincher by name, Pincher by nature”, with Sir Keir noting: “No denial.”
After Mr Johnson sought to criticise Sir Keir’s “muddled” response to Brexit and other matters, he added: “He is himself facing a criminal investigation, for which he asked me to resign.”
Sir Keir countered: “What a pathetic spectacle. The dying act of his political career is to parrot that nonsense.
“As for those who are left – only in office because no one else is prepared to debase themselves any longer. The charge of the lightweight brigade. Have some self-respect.
“For a week he’s had them defending his decision to promote a sexual predator … anyone with anything about them would be long gone from his frontbench.
“In the middle of a crisis, doesn’t the country deserve better than a Z-list cast of nodding dogs?”