Boris Johnson resigns: how has the world reacted? | Political news

Boris Johnson has announced his resignation after less than three years in Number 10.

He said he had tried to persuade his cabinet that it would be ‘eccentric’ to change prime ministers now, but added: ‘I regret that I was not successful in these arguments.

But how have world leaders and prominent political figures reacted to Mr Johnson’s resignation?

Volodymyr Zelensky

The Ukrainian President had a call with the Prime Minister after delivering his resignation speech.

President Zelenskyy called Mr Johnson a “hero” and hailed his “unwavering” support for Ukraine.

He also said he felt “sadness” at Mr Johnson’s resignation.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described Mr Johnson as a “true friend” of the country as it defends itself against a Russian invasion.

During his speech outside Downing Street, Mr Johnson said the UK would continue to fight for the freedom of the Ukrainian people “for as long as it takes”.

Joe Biden

Interestingly, US President Joe Biden did not mention Mr Johnson’s name in his 88-word statement in response to the resignation.

“The United Kingdom and the United States are closest friends and allies, and the special relationship between our peoples remains strong and enduring,” President Biden wrote.

“I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the UK government, as well as with our allies and partners around the world, on a range of important priorities.

“This includes maintaining a strong and united approach to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Putin’s brutal war on their democracy, and holding Russia accountable for its actions.”

The absence of a personal tribute from President Biden is striking and confirms that – unlike many of their predecessors – the two leaders were far from kindred spirits.

Before entering the White House, Mr Biden described Mr Johnson as “a kind of physical and emotional clone” of Donald Trump.

Michael Martin

The Taoiseach wishes Mr Johnson and his family ‘all the best for the future’ on a ‘personal level’.

But he added that “although Prime Minister Johnson and I have been actively engaged together, we have not always been in agreement and relations between our governments have been strained and challenged of late.”

He added: “Now we have the opportunity to return to the true spirit of partnership and mutual respect that is needed to underpin the gains of the Good Friday Agreement.”

Marie-Lou McDonald

The Sinn Fein leader said Mr Johnson ‘will not fail’.

In a statement following her resignation, Ms McDonald said Mr Johnson had ‘brought austerity’ to Northern Ireland and ‘brought disaster to us’ with Brexit.

“Under his leadership, the UK government has consistently undermined the Good Friday Agreement and repeatedly threatened to breach international law. We will not miss him,” she continued.

“It needs to be said very clearly that whoever succeeds Boris Johnson now as Prime Minister must change direction and change tact.”

Guy Verhofstadt

The European Parliament’s former Brexit coordinator called Mr Johnson a “shame”.

“Boris Johnson’s reign ends in disgrace, as does his friend Donald Trump,” he posted on social media.

“The end of an era of transatlantic populism? Let’s hope so.

“EU-UK relations have suffered enormously with Johnson’s choice of Brexit. Things can only get better!”

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The rise and fall of Boris Johnson

Michael Barnier

The former EU Brexit negotiator says Mr Johnson’s resignation ‘opens a new page in relations’ between Europe and the UK amid the ongoing row over the protocol North Ireland.

Mr. Barnier added: “That it be more constructive, more respectful of the commitments made, in particular with regard to peace and stability in NI, and more friendly with the partners [in the EU]. Because there’s so much more to do together.”

Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin

Russia’s ambassador to Britain said Mr Johnson’s downfall was a just reward for a “belligerent” anti-Russian policy of supporting Ukraine while ignoring the economic needs of the British people.

“He focused too much on the geopolitical situation, on Ukraine,” Kelin told Reuters.

“He left a lot behind the country, the people, the state of the economy, and that’s what brought about this result. Of course, we would prefer someone who isn’t so antagonistic or belligerent.”

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