Tuesday, August 9, 2022

“Hasta la vista, baby!”: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promoted records in his farewell speech

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The embattled Johnson delivered the UK Parliament speech praising his three-year tenure as Prime Minister and setting out a five-point vision for the country’s future.

July 21 (News) — Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered some advice in his farewell speech to lawmakers in London on Wednesday, before saying “Hasta la vista, baby”.

Johnson – who last week said he would step down, largely due to pressure from multiple political scandals affecting his ability to lead – spoke to British lawmakers during their weekly question-and-answer session on Wednesday.

“Mission largely accomplished for now,” he said, touting his handling of several upheavals during his tenure such as Brexit and COVID-19 – although the latter directly spawned the “Partygate” scandal that was the main trigger for his resignation.

Johnson, who has been leader of the Conservative Party since July 2019, also took a few smacks in his address, once calling Labor Party leader Keir Starmer a “mindless human bollard”.

The Conservative Party’s race to succeed Johnson as prime minister has two candidates – Secretary of State Liz Truss and former Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak. The pair defeated all other candidates in the race, which began last week after Johnson announced he would be leaving office. At first, Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace was seen as the favorite to succeed Johnson.

In his speech on Wednesday, Johnson advised anyone who becomes Britain’s prime minister to cut taxes and emphasize government deregulation.

His last words were, “I want to thank everyone here and — hasta la vista, baby.” The phrase was made famous by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Johnson’s speech drew some applause from the House of Commons and he received a standing ovation from fellow Conservatives.

But labor lawmakers weren’t so impressed – including Scottish National Party Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who said Johnson will be remembered in Scotland as “shameful” and “disgraceful”.

Theresa May, Johnson’s predecessor, who also only served three years, did not join in the applause.

Labor lawmaker Claire Hanna accused Johnson of being “the embodiment of excess and vice” who has “systematically destroyed” trust, according to BBC News.

The Conservative Party is expected to announce its new leader – who will automatically become Prime Minister – on September 5. Johnson’s immediate future, meanwhile, isn’t so clear just yet.

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