‘Hasta la vista, baby!’ Boris Johnson concluded his final major speech as UK prime minister in parliament on Wednesday (July 20), to a standing ovation from his recently mutinous MPs. Several analysts, however, interpreted his parting remarks, in which he referenced Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous line from the ‘Terminator’ movies, as a hint that he would return. ‘ I’ll be back,’ says the Terminator character again, which Johnson repeats.
Johnson left his final session of prime minister’s questions, defending his three turbulent years in office — from Brexit and Covid vaccinations to Ukraine — and hailing the contenders vying to succeed him, all while fending off opposition charges, according to AFP. According to Johnson’s press secretary, the prime minister is not considering a comeback. She went on to say that it was his way of saying good-bye.
Johnson’s Downing Street team is currently waging an ‘anyone but Rishi’ campaign, accusing former finance minister Rishi Sunak of orchestrating the cabinet coup that resulted in Johnson’s ouster following a string of scandals. Among these are ‘Partygate,’ which refers to events held at Johnson’s home in violation of Covid guidelines while the rest of the UK was under lockdown imposed by his own government. The prime minister responded, laughing, that he isn’t paying attention to the Tory election.
Johnson reflected on the Conservatives’ resounding victory in the 2019 election on a platform of ‘getting Brexit done, ‘and described his time in power as ‘the greatest privilege’ of his life. After leaving parliament, Johnson advised the candidates to ‘stay close to the Americans, stand up for the Ukrainians, and stand up for freedom and democracy everywhere,’ according to AFP.
‘Cut taxes and deregulate where you can to make this the best place to live and invest,’ the leader continued, ‘focus on the road ahead, but always remember to check the rearview mirror. It’s critical to remember that, above all, it’s not about Twitter; it’s about the people who brought us here,’ Johmson added.