Boris Johnson said goodbye to the British Parliament on Wednesday (20), after his last question session as prime minister, in which he defended his career and launched a “hasta la vista, baby!” amid applause from the Conservatives and booing from the opposition.
“Mission largely accomplished,” assured the Prime Minister, 58, taking stock of his three years in office. He said he will spend the coming weeks “doing what he believes citizens expect him to do: advancing the issues for which we were elected in 2019.”
“These past few years have been the greatest privilege of my life,” Johnson added.
The premier announced his resignation on July 7, after losing the support of his Conservative Party in a context of multiple scandals that weighed on his popularity.
He concluded by saying “Hasta la vista, baby!” in Spanish, to the applause of his supporters, repeating the famous phrase uttered by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Terminator of the Future 2”.
Johnson’s successor will be announced on September 5, after a parliamentary recess that begins on Friday (22).
Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer has questioned Johnson about the ongoing campaign within his party to replace him as leader and tenant of Downing Street, including the cancellation of a televised debate between the candidates on Tuesday.
Read also: Sunak ahead in voting to succeed Boris
“Well, I don’t follow the issue particularly closely,” Johnson joked, amid laughter from MPs. But he took the opportunity to give “one piece of advice” to whoever will succeed him as prime minister: “Stay close to Americans, support Ukrainians, fight for freedom and democracy everywhere; cut taxes and deregulate wherever you can to make this country the best place to live and invest.”
Conservative MPs vote for the fifth and final time on Wednesday to designate the two finalist candidates for his succession. Then the nearly 200,000 members of the British Conservative Party will vote between them.
Three candidates remain in the race: former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak; Foreign Secretary Liz Truss; and Foreign Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt.