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Wednesday 7 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
The front page of The Independent
# Front Pages
British papers tell Boris Johnson that 'leave means leave'
The story dominates the front pages of the UK papers this morning.

OUTGOING UK PRIME Minister Boris Johnson is told “leave means leave” by British newspapers this morning after he was pushed into announcing a dramatic departure.

He accepted yesterday that his Conservative Party has demanded a new leader but said he will stay in No 10 throughout the summer until one is appointed.

The story dominates the front papers of the UK papers this morning, covering his resignation speech, plans to stay in Downing Street, and potential replacement.

The Guardian leads with: “It’s (almost) over”, with a front page story describing Johnson’s speech as “tinged with bitterness”.

The Financial Times similarly describes Johnson as having been “defiant to the end”, carrying analysis that says MPs may no longer trust him but his “historical significance is indisputable”.

The message in the Metro and the Daily Mirror turns Johnson’s rhetoric against him, declaring: “Leave means leave.”

The Daily Mirror reports that Johnson is “clinging on for one last party”, citing unnamed sources telling it that he intends to hold a lavish wedding bash at Chequers, a countryside house for British PMs.

The i marks the news with a one-word headline on its front page: “Downfall.”

The Times says simply that Johnson “throws in towel”, while The Independent overlays a shot of the back of his head with the headline: “Going… but still in No 10.”

The Daily Mail shows a photograph of Johnson hugging his wife Carrie and son Wilfred with a headline directed at Conservative MPs, asking: “What the hell have they done?”

The Sun carries the same image with the headline, “Kiss goodbye… and thanks for the Brexit, Boris”, while the Daily Express expresses its gratitude to Johnson: “Thank you Boris… You gave Britain back its freedom.”

In contrast, the Daily Star lists “Bozo’s” legacy as him having a “cute dog, being a “good party organiser” and choosing “nice wallpaper”.

Johnson reluctantly stepped down yesterday after a spate of resignations by government members over the previous two days.

Responding to Johnson’s resignation, the Taoiseach said Ireland and the UK now have an “opportunity” to return to working in partnership on the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

He said that “Britain is Ireland’s closest neighbour” and that the two governments “working in close partnership is a key underpinning for peace and prosperity on these islands”.

“While Prime Minister Johnson and I engaged actively together, we didn’t always agree, and the relationship between our Governments has been strained and challenged in recent times,” the Taoiseach said.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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