Theresa May says 'it's important' Boris Johnson's successor is 'willing to be honest with people'

Theresa May also spoke about the importance of “decency, honesty and integrity” as “values that I believe are essential in public life”

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Theresa May says “it’s important” that Boris Johnson’s successor is “willing to be honest with people”.

Mr Johnson resigned as Conservative Party leader earlier today following mounting pressure from Tory MPs.

It comes after more than 50 Tory politicians tendered their resignations in the last few days amid the Chris Pincher row.

Speaking after Mr Johnson formally announced his resignation outside No.10, former PM Mrs May sent a clear message to his would-be successor.

Theresa May
Theresa May
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Mrs May said: “The key task of somebody coming in as Prime Minister is going to be dealing with the current situation with the cost-of-living crisis.

“There are some difficult messages for people there.

“I think it’s important that somebody comes in who is willing to be honest with people about what the issues are and what the potential solutions are, and how we might get to there and the difficulties there will be on the way.”

Mrs May was answering questions after delivering the James Brokenshire lecture on “public service and restoring faith in politics” at the Institute of Government.

The former Prime Minister spoke about the importance of “decency, honesty and integrity” as “values that I believe are essential in public life if we are to have faith in our politics”, but did not mention Mr Johnson in her speech.

In a statement confirming the news outside No.10, Mr Johnson said: "It is clearly now the will of the Parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party.

“And therefore a new Prime Minister and I have agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now.

"The timetable will be announced next week and I have today appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place."