July 21 (BP) — Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered some words of advice in his farewell speech to lawmakers in London on Wednesday before signing off with “Hasta la vista, baby.”
The embattled Johnson made the speech in British Parliament, during which he praised his three-year record as prime minister and offered a five-point vision on the future of the country.
Johnson — who said last week he will resign, due mainly to the pressure from multiple political scandals that affected his capacity to lead — spoke on Wednesday during his weekly question and answer session with British lawmakers.
“Mission largely accomplished, for now,” he said, touting his handling of several upheavals during his time in office like Brexit and COVID-19 — even though the latter directly produced the “partygate” scandal that was the main catalyst for his resignation.
The Conservative Party leader since July 2019, Johnson also took a few jabs in his address and at one point called Labor Party leader Keir Starmer a “pointless human bollard.”
The Conservative Party race to succeed Johnson as prime minister is down to two candidates — Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak. The pair have defeated all the other candidates in the race that began last week after Johnson announced he would leave office. Initially, defense minister Ben Wallace was considered a favorite to succeed Johnson.
In his remarks on Wednesday, Johnson advised whoever becomes British prime minister to cut taxes and emphasize government deregulation.
His final words were, “I want to thank everybody here, and — hasta la vista, baby.” The phrase was made famous by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Johnson’s speech drew some applause in the House of Commons and he received a standing ovation from fellow Conservatives.
Labor lawmakers, however, were not as impressed — including Scottish National Party Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who said Johnson would be remembered in Scotland as “shameful” and “disgraceful.”
Theresa May, Johnson’s predecessor who also served in the post for just three years, did not join in the applause.
Labor Party lawmaker Claire Hanna accused Johnson of being “the embodiment of excess and vice” who had “systematically destroyed” trust, according to BBC News.
The Conservative Party is expected to announce its new leader — who automatically becomes prime minister — on Sept. 5. Johnson’s immediate future, meanwhile, is not yet as clear.