Boris Johnson quit as Tory leader after admitting he failed to persuade Cabinet colleagues that he could fight on.
He called the decision to remove him “eccentric,” blamed “herd instinct” in Westminster, and called the political system “Darwinian.”
A new Tory leader will now be elected who will replace Mr Johnson in No 10.
“In politics, no one is remotely indispensable,” he acknowledged in a statement delivered from a lectern in Downing Street.
“I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them’s the breaks,” he said.
In a sign of the resentment he feels about being forced from office, less than three years after a landslide election win, Mr Johnson said: “In the last few days, I tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we’re actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in mid-term after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.
“I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and of course it’s painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.
“But as we’ve seen, at Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.”
Before we get to the Darwinian comment, the general speech didn’t go down that well, as you can see below.