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Rishi Sunak’s Final Speech as Prime Minister: 5 July 2024

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Rishi Sunak gave his final speech as Prime Minister on the steps of Downing Street.

Good morning, I will shortly be seeing His Majesty the King to offer my resignation as Prime Minister.

To the country, I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry.

I have given this job my all. 

But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change…

…and yours is the only judgement that matters. 

I have heard your anger, your disappointment; and I take responsibility for this loss. 

To all the Conservative candidates and campaigners who worked tirelessly but without success…

…I am sorry that we could not deliver what your efforts deserved. 

It pains me to think how many good colleagues…

…who contributed so much to their communities and our country…

…will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. 

I thank them for their hard work, and their service. 

Following this result, I will step down as party leader…

…not immediately, but once the formal arrangements for selecting my successor are in place. 

It is important that after 14 years in government the Conservative Party rebuilds…

…but also that it takes up its crucial role in Opposition professionally and effectively.

When I first stood here as your Prime Minister, I told you the most important task I had was to return stability to our economy.

Inflation is back to target, mortgage rates are falling, and growth has returned. 

We have enhanced our standing in the world, rebuilding relations with allies…

…leading global efforts to support Ukraine…

…and becoming the home of the new generation of transformative technologies. 

And our United Kingdom is stronger too: with the Windsor Framework, devolution restored in Northern Ireland, and our Union strengthened.

I’m proud of those achievements. 

I believe this country is safer, stronger, and more secure than it was 20 months ago.

And it is more prosperous, fairer, and resilient than it was in 2010.

Whilst he has been my political opponent, Sir Keir Starmer will shortly become our Prime Minister. 

In this job, his successes will be all our successes, and I wish him and his family well.

Whatever our disagreements in this campaign, he is a decent, public-spirited man, who I respect.

He and his family deserve the very best of our understanding, as they make the huge transition to their new lives behind this door…

…and as he grapples with this most demanding of jobs in an increasingly unstable world.

I would like to thank my colleagues, my Cabinet, the Civil Service – especially here in Downing Street…

…the team at Chequers, my staff, CCHQ…

…but most of all I would like to express my gratitude to my wife Akshata and our beautiful daughters.

I can never thank them enough for the sacrifices they have made so that I might serve our country. 

One of the most remarkable things about Britain is just how unremarkable it is…

…that two generations after my grandparents came here with little, I could become Prime Minister…

…and that I could watch my two young daughters light Diwali candles on the steps in Downing Street.

We must hold true to that idea of who we are…

…that vision of kindness, decency, and tolerance that has always been the British way.

This is a difficult day, at the end of a number of difficult days.  

But I leave this job honoured to have been your Prime Minister. 

This is the best country in the world and that is thanks entirely to you, the British people…

…the true source of all our achievements, our strengths, and our greatness.

Thank you.

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