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By Bishop of Leeds
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Boris Johnson vows to defeat 'gloomsters' and deliver Brexit on 31 October 'no ifs or buts' as he enters No10

4 min read

Boris Johnson has vowed to defeat the “gloomsters” by delivering Brexit on 31 October “no ifs no buts”.

Speaking on the steps of Number 10, the new Prime Minister delivered an upbeat message as he vowed that the UK will triumph over those who doubt it can succeed outside the European Union.

Mr Johnson also unveiled a lengthy list of promises, including an extra 20,000 police officers, the immediate upgrading of 20 hospitals, more money for schools and a plan to "fix" the country's social care crisis.

After paying tribute to his predecessor Theresa May's "deep sense of public service", he vowed to succeed where she failed by taking the UK out of the EU in time for the next Hallowe'en deadline.

He said: "In spite of all her public efforts it has become clear that there are pessimists at home and abroad who think after three years of indecision that this country has become a prisoner to the old arguments of 2016.

"And in this home of democracy we are incapable of honouring a democratic mandate. And so, I am standing before you today to tell you, the British people, that those critics are wrong. The doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters are going to get it wrong again.

"The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy, and we are going to fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31st. No ifs or buts."

Vowing to take personal responsibility for his government's performance, Mr Johnson said: "While today I am building a great team of men and women, I will take personal responsibility for the change I want to see.

"Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here."

And he added: "At this extraordinary moment in our history. And after three years of unfounded self-doubt it is time to change the record. To recover our natural and historic role as an enterprising, outward looking and truly global Britain. Generous in temper and engaged with the world.

"No one in the last few centuries has succeeded in betting against the pluck and nerve and ambition of this country. They will not succeed today. We, in this government, will work flat out to give this country the leadership it deserves, and that work begins now."

Mr Johnson will now focus on getting his Cabinet in place, with the top positions in his team due to be announced on Wednesday night.

A number of senior ministers including the Chancellor Philip Hammond have resigned today, saying they are unwilling to serve in Mr Johnson’s administration.

The current Home Secretary Sajid Javid is widely-expected to replace Mr Hammond at the Treasury, but there remains uncertainty over whether Jeremy Hunt, who lost to Mr Johnson in the leadership contest, will remain as Foreign Secretary.

Elsewhere the incoming PM has sparked debate by hiring the controversial political strategist Dominic Cummings to be one of his top advisers.

The brains behind the victorious Vote Leave campaign in the EU referendum, he is a divisive figure even among Brexiteers, a political outsider who according to one friend “really does hate the civil service”.

Earlier an anti-Brexit campaigner had disrupted Theresa May’s speech as she left Number 10 for the final time as Prime Minister.

After thanking her husband Philip, who she called “my greatest supporter and my closest companion”, a protester shouted “stop Brexit” through the Downing Street gates.

After a brief pause Mr May said “that wasn’t me”, before Theresa quipped: “The answer to that I think is – I think not.”

Elsewhere in her speech she said to have served as PM “is the greatest honour”, but she will be “proud to continue as the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead”.

She finished by saying: “I will continue to do all I can to serve the national interest.

“And play my part in making our United Kingdom – a great country with a great future – a country that truly works for everyone.”

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