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‘This is it, folks’: Boris Johnson bids an ambiguous goodbye

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‘This is it, folks’: Boris Johnson bids an ambiguous goodbye

LONDON (AP):

Boris Johnson’s term as British leader was a mix of high drama and low disgrace. But he left office on Tuesday with a casual shrug of a farewell: “Well, this is it, folks.”

The prime minister’s final speech outside 10 Downing Street, delivered before he offered his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II, was vintage Johnson – a quixotic blend of humor, classical erudition, ego and an elastic relationship with the truth. And it left many observers wondering whether this really is the end for a leader who has long defied political gravity.

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“It was a classic Boris speech,” said Hannah White, acting director of the Institute for Government think tank. “It was very much focused on him and his achievements. But I think that it is quite clear that he’s licking his wounds. He understands that if he steps away at this moment, he is going to continue to be an influential figure. And I think he will be biding his time.”

For Johnson fans, the speech was a moment to regret the departure of Britain’s most entertaining modern prime minister – and perhaps to nurture a flame for his return. For critics, it was a reminder of why his administration collapsed in scandal before it could fulfil Johnson’s lofty policy aims.

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