The departing Prime Minister made a final speech as the nation’s political leader in front of the door to Number 10, in which he made mention of his pet dog Dilyn and Larry, the Downing Street mouser – but neglected to mention Carrie Johnson, who he married last year. Instead, he also thanked the British public and “everybody who has helped look after me and my family over the last three years”.
Mr Johnson will now travel to meet the Queen in Balmoral to hand in his resignation, before successor Liz Truss forms her Government.
In his farewell address just after 7.30am today (Tuesday), the outgoing PM said: “Thank you to everybody behind me in this building behind me. Thank you to all of you in Government.
“Thank you to everybody who has helped look after me and my family over the last three years including Dilyn the dog.
“And I’ll just say to my party: if Dilyn and Larry [the Downing Street cat] can put behind them their occasional difficulties, then so can the Conservative Party.”
He added: “Above all, thanks to you, the British people, to the voters for giving me the chance to serve – all of you who worked so tirelessly together to beat Covid, to put us where we are today.
“Together we have laid foundations that will stand the test of time, whether by taking back control of our laws or putting in vital new infrastructure. Great, solid masonry on which we will continue to build together, paving the path of prosperity now and for future generations.
“And I will be supporting Liz Truss and the new Government every step of the way.”
Though Mr and Mrs Johnson were wedded last May, the Westminster Cathedral ceremony was secretly planned and involved a “small” gathering, owing to Covid restrictions at the time.
It was the first marriage of a Prime Minister while in office since 1822.
In July this year, they celebrated their nuptials with a large party on a 1,500-acre estate in the Cotswolds.
After finishing his speech, Mr Johnson took his wife by the hand as the two said goodbye to the well-wishers and political allies who had gathered to watch him speak.
Carrie is Mr Johnson’s third wife, and the two have a son and daughter, Wilfred and Romy. He is believed to have four other children from prior relationships.
Mr Johnson also drew an analogy with his forthcoming post-premiership life and that of Roman statesman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who went from a farmer to become absolute ruler of the ancient empire for a matter of days to deal with a military skirmish.
However, the former Classics student may have offered a hint as to his future political intentions, as Cincinnatus later returned as leader of Rome from his retirement on his farm.
More to follow…