Full text of Boris Johnson’s acceptance speech

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Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Conservatives. It is a great honour and privilege to be elected your leader today and while I know nothing at all about honour, I am extremely familiar with privilege so when I say that this is one, you can really trust me on that. With luck I can get an honour out of this too, perhaps. What do you reckon? Sir Boris? Sounds good to me! And Lady Allegra, whoops Marina, whoops Carrie, whoops – no, no, I did mean Carrie.

Anyhow, I would like to say that I’m deeply humbled by the trust that you have shown in me during these leadership elections but since I know even less about being humble than I do about honour, I should probably pass on that one. What I will say is that nearly 100,000 of you, my fellow Conservatives, voted for me in this leadership election and while I’m aware that most of you are my biological children, I don’t actually know you so that can’t count as nepotism really, can it?

I would like to pay particular tribute today to my fellow candidate Jeremy Hunt, who is a font of excellent ideas which I promise to steal, abuse, pass off as my own and then blame on him when it all goes tits-up. I would also like to pay tribute to Theresa May for, well, for, for stepping down and letting me have a go. Eventually. I can also confirm that rumours that I’m going to let her loose in one of my fields of wheat and encourage City types to take potshots at her are completely untrue. Although … no, no, let bygones be bygones, eh, what?

I know there will be people who will question the wisdom of your decision and there will be people here who will wonder what they have done. Hell knows, I’m one of them! Well, I would just point out that no one person, no party, has a monopoly on wisdom. Indeed, if I have proven anything over these last few years, it’s that some people can get on perfectly well with no wisdom at all. But if you look at the history of the 200 years, of this party’s history, you will see it is we Conservatives – we have had the best insights into human nature, at least as far as knowing which lies to tell to whom in order to get the votes that we need. And that’s all that counts at the end of the day.

There will be those who doubt that we can achieve what we have said we will achieve. But I say to all the doubters: Dude, we are going to energise the country, we are going to get Brexit done. And I’m going to start energising my MPs this very day by giving all of the party whips Tasers – and possibly that electric thing Miss Whiplash had in her basement last Tuesday with the clamps and the… Oh! Sorry! Where was I? Ah – yes! Today at this pivotal moment in our history we again have to reconcile two sets of instincts, two noble sets of instincts, between the deep desire of friendship and free trade and mutual support in security and defence between Britain and our European partners, and the simultaneous desire – equally deep and heartfelt – for an imagined bygone era of colonial magnificence in this country.

And of course there are some people who say that they are irreconcilable and it just can’t be done. And indeed I read in my Financial Times this morning that no incoming leader has ever faced such a daunting set of circumstances. Well I look at you this morning and ask: Do you look daunted? I don’t think you look remotely daunted. Slightly sloshed on the preprandial G&Ts perhaps but not daunted. I think we can do it. I don’t’ know what it is and I don’t know how we could do it but I think the people of this country are trusting in us to do it and we know that we will do it.

We know the mantra of the campaign that just went by – it is deliver Brexit, unite the country, and defeat Jeremy Corbyn. And that’s what we’re going to do. Or if we don’t then I don’t care because I’m PM and have lots of money so I’ll be just fine.

Thank you.

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Posted: Jul 24th, 2019 by

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