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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 15 September, 2019
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THERESA MAY HAS held her final Prime Minister’s Questions and Boris Johnson is now the British Prime Minister.

After Theresa May handed in her resignation to the Queen, who accepted it, Johnson was called to Buckingham Palace to be asked to form a new government.

Now that he’s sworn in, he’s returning to Number 10 Downing Street to make a speech, before announcing his first Cabinet appointments. 

Here’s a more detailed piece about what to expect today – and stay with us here for live updates as we go… 

Theresa May is being forced to defend Boris Johnson in her first question out of the gates. 

Laughs in the chamber as she notes she “worked with him in Cabinet”. 

There’s a packed chamber at the House of Commons today. We can expect the opposition to largely pull their punches this afternoon as May signs off. 

Corbyn hasn’t started his questions yet. 

No sign of Johnson in the chamber yet, by the looks of it. 

You can watch live on Sky News – here’s a link

Jeremy Corbyn begins his contribution by paying tribute to May’s sense of public service, and says he hopes she has a less stressful time on the backbenches. 

Laughs for Corbyn’s gag as he says he hopes she may even join with him in fighting Boris’s damaging policies. A good-natured smile from the PM.

Corbyn is holding back on any personalised attacks but has been listing a series of stats on the Tory government’s record in recent years. 

We’re getting back to more of a regular back-and-forth between the two leaders now. 

At the end of his latest question, he lists some of the achievements of the government he actually does support. 

His question about which one she’s most proud of appears to catch May a little off guard. 

“Given that her successor has no mandate from the people” doesn’t May agree that the best thing for Johnson to do would be to call an election, Corbyn asks. 

May’s response: “No.”

may2

Time for May to say a few nice things about her opposite number now. 

She says it’s a testament to the strength of the UK’s democracy that these weekly exchanges take place “at two swords’ length”. 

She says she recognises Corbyn’s commitment to his constituency and has seen this in action. 

But the positivity doesn’t last long. Signing off her answer she suggests that, having recognised her time as party leader was at an end perhaps he should realise his time in the top Labour position is also almost up. 

Roars from the chamber at this barb. Laughter… General shouting? Hard to tell really. 

The SNP leader at Westminster Ian Blackford says that while the Scottish party has had its differences with May they have also stood together on some issues, like the Salisbury attacks. 

Some surprise from UK political journalists at May’s earlier jibe at Corbyn – perhaps a little off-tone for ‘dead rubber’ face-offs like this? 

Things have calmed down a bit in the chamber now as government and opposition MPs raise some local issues and subjects of the day. 

 

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds is now on his feet. 

Thanks the outgoing PM for her work.

He also urged her to come to Northern Ireland to avail of “many walking opportunities”. 

Seems we’ve a bit of a trend here. Most MPs addressing the outgoing prime minister are starting their speeches by having a pop at Jeremy Corbyn. 

Case in point…

Harriet Harman with some gentle ribbing about hand holding there….May having a chuckle about it. 

May visits US - Day Two Source: PA Archive/PA Images

May now getting a standing ovation as she finishes her final Prime Minister’s questions. 

So that’s all from May for the moment. She’s expected to give a statement outside 10 Downing Street in the next 45 minutes.

Bit of breaking news here. 

Philip Hammond has announced his resignation as Chancellor ahead of Boris Johnson entering Downing Street.

Gráinne Ní Aodha here taking over the Liveblog for Theresa May’s final moments as Prime Minister… which, as expected, has brought the resignation of Philip Hammond.

In his letter to Theresa May he said that “I believe that your successor must be free to choose a Chancellor who is fully aligned with his policy position.”

Johnson’s Etonian rival Cameron has just tweeted his congratulations to Johnson.

I wonder what took him so long – did he draft two possible responses?

 

Four resignations have come in succession, just as Theresa May goes to hand her resignation to the Queen of England. 

The officials around Johnson are said to me Dominic Cummings as senior adviser, Eddie Lister, Johnson’s former chief while he was London mayor, and former ambassador David Frost.

The reaction to Cummings has been prickly, to say the least:

psycopath Source: Sky News

Cummings seems devoted to the job anyways – enough to ask for an operation extension.

A crowd waits at the end of the street waiting for outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May to leave 10 Downing Street, on her way to Buckingham Palace.

Boris Johnson becomes PM Source: Stefan Rousseau

David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy, has resigned as expected.

Formerly a Europe minister, Lidington was a ‘Remainer’ who worked closely with Tánaiste Simon Coveney:

“I wrote to Boris Johnson yesterday to congratulate him on his election, to wish him well & to say I’ve decided that after 20 years on the front bench it’s the right moment to move on. I shall leave the govt when Theresa May offers her resignation to The Queen.”

I shall do all I can to help new govt secure a deal to allow an orderly departure from the EU.

“Huge thanks to the civil servants in the Cabinet Office whom I’ve had the privilege to lead. The impartiality & professionalism of the civil service is one of the great strengths of our constitution. As is readiness of Ministers to encourage candid  even when unwelcome, advice.

After more than two decades of collective responsibility I’m now relishing the prospect of speaking & campaigning freely for the things that matter to me & to my constituents.

TMay Source: Sky News

Theresa May wishes Johnson and his government every success, as she leaves 10 Downing Street before heading to Buckingham Palace.  

Their successes will be our country’s successes. 

“As I leave Downing Street, my final words are of sincere thanks.”

She thanks the public servants across the UK, her team at 10 Downing Street, and her colleagues. 

“All inspired by the noble wish to serve in the national interest.”

I hope that every young girl who has seen a woman Prime Minister knows that there are no limits to what they can achieve.

She thanks her husband Philip who has been her “greatest supporter”.

In the middle of her speech, Theresa May was interrupted by a loud shout of “STOP BREXIT”. After those gathered laughed a bit, May responded with: “I think not”.

After three years in power, May leaves 10 Downing Street for the last time as Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson becomes PM Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May steps from 10 Downing Street with her husband Philip. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson becomes PM Source: PA Wire/PA Images

It’s inevitable, but some are obviously still in denial…

My favourite tweet of the day everybody, despite knowing f-all about cricket. 

Have you seen something better? Send it to me: grainne@thejournal.ie or @GAodha

Some much needed light relief as we wait for the handover of power in one of the most powerful countries in the world – what’s your favourite ice lolly?

And what the hell is a ‘Fab’ …

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said that this is a very important moment for Brexit, and that the EU awaits to see the preference of the next Prime Minister.

Aren’t we all.

If you missed Theresa May’s final speech as Prime Minister, complete with the “STOP BREXIT” interruption, you can watch it here (though, we warn, there wasn’t much to it).

So it’s official: Theresa May is no longer Prime Minister.

The Right Honourable Theresa May MP had an Audience of The Queen this afternoon and tendered her resignation as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, which Her Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.

Climate protesters tried to form a human chain to block  Boris Johnson’s path to Buckingham Palace – never a dull moment. 

They were a small group, but still forced Johnson’s car to stop as the police quickly moved them out of the way.

climate change Source: Sky News

On that climate change protest – it’s been claimed by GreenPeace.

All that work by hancock seems to have worked in keeping him in a job…

A crowd has gathered outside 10 Downing Street, which are presumably Boris Johnson’s new team:

10 downing street Source: Sky News

This from a former civil servant Matthew O’Toole is interesting:

For civil servants inside No 10, the bit between the old political team leaving and the new one arriving is surreal. Passes and phones are literally taken from outgoing spads who clear off home or to the pub.

It’s extremely weird.

Nice try.

Johnson has started his speech as the next British Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street, to the mumble of protesters in the background. 

Bojo Source: grainne

“The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts.

The doubters, the doomsters are going to get it wrong again…We are going to come out of the EU on Oct 31, no ifs no buts, we will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities.

“I have every confidence that in 99 days time, we will have cracked it. But do you know what, we’re not going to wait 99 days because the British people have had enough of waiting.”

“I will take personal responsibility for the changes I want to see.”

“Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here. I’ll be the Prime Minister of the whole country,” Johnson pledges.

Johnson has referred to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as “the awesome foursome”. 

To EU citizens he says, ironically: “You will have the absolutely certainty of the right to live and remain”.

He adds: “To our friends in Ireland, I am convinced we can do a deal without checks on Irish border.”

To those who say we cannot be ready, I say Do not underestimate this country… because we know the enormous strengths of this country.

It is here that we are using gene therapy for the first time to treat a form of blindness.

He also mentions creating ‘green jobs’, interesting, given the protests earlier. 

Johnson lumps his pledge of Free Trade Deals in with protecting animal rights and welfare, as if it’s an afterthought… 

Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds, in the pink dress, waits for him to make a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London.

The media have been speculating a lot on whether she would take up residence with Johnson at 10 Downing Street, as Johnson is still married to another woman.

Boris Johnson becomes PM Source: Dominic Lipinski

Here’s a quick look at Johnson’s speech. Tory MPs seem happy with it anyways.

We’re going to leave it there and start a separate piece looking at Johnson’s speech – thanks for sticking with us and keep an eye on the site for who will be confirmed in Johnson’s war cabinet.

 

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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