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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Theresa May Officially Resigns As Prime Minister; Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Testifies Before Congress; Boris Johnson Visits Queen At Buckingham Palace; Boris Johnson Speaks At Downing Street As Prime Minister. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired July 24, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: -- not too much.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Much better than yesterday. We were weltering yesterday when we was --
QUEST: I put my jacket on. In fact, I decided -- since we are talking about new prime ministers, we have to be good. Two stories were watching. Theresa May has just resigned as prime minister. We assume she's in the Buckingham Palace at the moment meeting Her Majesty, the Queen and the other story.
SOARES: We're also keeping an eye on Robert Mueller testifying before Congress. You're seeing a small box that right there on your screen. We'll go to that in just a moment. There's two big stories we're keeping an eye on for you throughout this hour. Of course, the man waiting in the wings as you know here in the U.K., Boris Johnson. He is expected as well to be speaking to the Queen this hour.
QUEST: And on Capitol Hill -- well, Bob Mueller hasn't been giving away a lot of things. It's been a fractious testimony by Mueller. The Democrats obviously trying to push as far as they can towards getting him to go further on the report, but time and again his answers have just been my answers in my report, page 47, line 4.
And they're going backwards and forwards on this, really, whether or not President Trump tried to obstruct justice. There is simply no -- there's no movement as such on the Mueller inquiry. He's going -- he's speaking to the two committees, the House and the Senate and it goes on for the next few hours.
SOARES: We'll keep an eye on that. There's more development over the course come out, any nuggets, we shall bring it to you. But, first, I want to take you back here to London where a new political era is just in fact minutes away.
Right now, outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May is at Buckingham Palace to inform Queen Elizabeth, the second of her resignation. She'll stay on as a member of parliament. We heard her saying the PMQs.
Earlier, Mrs. May made a farewell statement to the media standing beside her husband outside number 10 Downing Street. Take a listen to what she said. Well, I can tell you roughly what she said. She -- I can tell you
roughly what she said. She said her immediate party was exiting (ph) to the E.U. She said to serve as prime minister is the greatest honor.
She also said and perhaps this was some advice for the incoming prime minister, "you achieve nothing alone". Thanking everyone around her and she thanked the British people for putting their faith in her. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: To serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom is the greatest honor. The heavy responsibilities are outweighed by the huge potential to serve your country, but you achieve nothing alone. And as I leave Downing Street, my final words are of sincere thanks.
This is a country of aspiration and opportunity and I hope that every young girl who has seen a woman prime minister now knows for sure that there are no limits to what they can achieve. Finally and most of all, I want to thank my husband, Philip, who's been my greatest supporter and my closest companion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: In a few moments the Queen will bade farewell to Theresa May as she becomes one of her former prime ministers and she will ask Boris Johnson to form a new government. Johnson was sure to becoming Britain's prime minister when he took over the leadership of the Conservative Party 24 hours ago.
Erin McLaughlin is at Buckingham Palace. And it's -- I mean, a fascinating day. We don't see any sign yet of Boris Johnson, but then Theresa May hasn't left.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. And we understand from our producer on the ground closer to the gates of the palace forecourt that Theresa May is expected to depart shortly following her audience with the Queen.
It's been just over 25 minutes that she's been here at Buckingham Palace for that private audience, just the two of them together in a room as they've done pretty much every week of her premiership. But, this occasion decidedly more somber than meetings past.
She'll be issuing her resignation and then also in all likelihood recommending her successor to become prime minister, that being of course, Boris Johnson. It also seems quite likely, although we'll never know for sure that the Queen Elizabeth will thank Theresa May for her public service.
And now, I don't know if you can see behind me, it seems as though there's a crowd gathering near the gates of the palace forecourt mostly tourists, Richard, as we are awaiting for Theresa May to depart not as a prime minister but as back bencher. [10:05:12] SOARES: What we understand, Erin, is that Theresa May has departed. We're now seeing live images -- aerial images there of -- we don't know -- we don't understand if that's Theresa May. Do we know if that's Theresa May's car or can someone tell me if they do know this?
QUEST: Well, we'll be able to work out the route that it's taking.
SOARES: The route while it is moves away from (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: But Theresa May has basically gone out the back door and my guess is that you're now witnessing Boris Johnson making his way towards Buckingham Palace.
SOARES: And, of course Theresa May would have entered Buckingham Palace as prime minister. She leaves as just a Member of Parliament. She can serve as an MP for maidenhead, we believe.
QUEST: We don't know where she's going, Bianca Nobilo, whether -- where Theresa May -- and I don't know why I'm expecting you --
SOARES: We were once talking about her fans this morning but, you know.
SOARES: We don't know where she's going.
QUEST: I mean --
SOARES: It has been remarked several times that now she might be able to take a walking holiday with her husband --
QUEST: Yes. But, I mean, she didn't --
SOARES: -- instead of about being drawn back international crisis.
QUEST: -- she didn't spend a huge amount of time at Buckingham Palace -- at number 10 Downing Street in the flat.
SOARES: She didn't, that was often remarked and pondered. She would go back to her constituency and maybe had any given opportunity. We know that she had a nice luncheon on the terrace there with Philip May today who was also present at prime minister's questions for her last appearance there and then appeared by her side for her final remarks on the steps of number 10 Downing Street.
QUEST: Quentin, deals with us. Good to see you, sir, from Chatham House. The -- we can get into the Manushi (ph) of Boris Johnson and what he might do and not do and all that sort of stuff. But, talk us to the constitutional aspects of what were seeing today is peaceful transfer of power whether from government to opposition or from leader to leader. It is democracy in action. Oh, sorry -- but sorry, Quentin, just -- it looks like Bianca just got some information. Bear with us.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We now have an official resignation from the Royal Communications team that Theresa May had an audience with the Queen this afternoon and tendered her resignation as prime minister and first lord of the treasury, which Her Majesty was graciously pleased to accept. So, it is official, Theresa May is no longer prime minister.
SOARES: So for the next few minutes we won't have a prime minister until at least -- until he actually depart, Boris Johnson leaves Buckingham Palace.
QUENTIN PEEL, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE: And we will get a message like that saying he's been appointed. It is an extraordinary moment because here is a man who's not faced an election --
SOARES: Can we just interrupt you? I'm so sorry, Quentin. We seem to be looking at protesters, prisms with chain --
QUEST: On the mal (ph).
SOARES: -- on the mal. I'm not sure if we've got these pictures so we can bring to you.
QUEST: No, we're still looking at Theresa May leaving. I think that's Theresa May's.
SOARES: I believe so. I think that's Theresa May's. There we go, you can see it now. A human chain forming outside, that's the mal, blocking --
QUEST: And this is Boris Johnson's car. There you have the outrider. You have the Jaguar and you have one car -- one chase car. This is the prime minister to be. And in it sweeps past the monument, round the Victoria monument into Buckingham Palace. What's interesting is they don't stop the traffic.
SOARES: I think life continues as normal.
QUEST: Well, the Queen has always said -- Prince Philip, I think said famously once, the quickest way to get rid of the Royal Family -- the quickest way to get rid of the Royal Family is to tie the British people up in traffic because of us.
And, Quentin, talk us to what's happening constitutional.
PEEL: Well, what is fascinating is that the one constitutional requirement really for the Queen where the prime minister is to say, "Do you command the majority in the House of Commons," and that is in considerable doubt. Boris Johnson only commands a majority of two, thanks to the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.
SOARES: But he still has a majority. Well, tiny.
NOBILO: Well, the Democratic Unionist Party have also said that they intend to review the terms of --
SOARES: They did indeed, yes.
QUEST: Right, but the alternative would be that she'd be asking Jeremy Corbyn. That's Boris Johnson.
NOBILO: There is Boris, yes.
QUEST: There is the prime minister to be being welcomed by the sergeant and the equerry and that the lady-in-waiting, of course, will be there as well. He will go in the sovereigns entrance at the main staircase into the audience room where Her Majesty already there waiting.
And we'll ask him, Boris Johnson, can you command a majority in the House? Do you have the support of the House? He will say, yes. In which case she says I then invite you to form a government in my name and thus kissing her hands.
PEEL: There is a moment when perhaps his lips will stroke the sovereign's hands. Although I did hear earlier today that perhaps that's an exaggeration. They may just fake that.
[10:10:07] SOARES: According to (INAUDIBLE), they no longer kiss the hand.
NOBILO: But if any politician was flamboyant enough to attempt that, it would be this one.
QUEST: I do think, though, one previous guest was just making the point. Boris Johnson wrote a very good book, actually, a really good page turner on Churchill. Churchill was the Queen's first prime minister, Quentin.
PEEL: Yes, yes. I'm not sure that it is coming full circle. If Churchill came to -- when we were at war -- we're not exactly at war now even though we are now in the national -- considerable national, political and constitutional crisis.
I do think it's a very real question how long is Boris Johnson going to last. Is it weeks? Is it months? Or will he actually turn out to be somebody who can play both sides and produce some amazing national unity in this very divided nation? I have my doubts.
NOBILO: People often talk about Winston Churchill was Boris Johnson's political inspiration as he did right to beckon him eventually and often sights him. But actually people who know Johnson well also mentioned that one of his idols is Pericles, the once leader of Athens who I think, Quentin, correct me if I'm wrong, but ended up leading Athens into Peloponnesian War and managed to arrive at his position by ostracizing his opponents and other things, an interesting choice of another political inspiration for Boris Johnson. So it remains to be seen which of those he will resemble the most. PEEL: I think Boris Johnson sees himself as the new Winston Churchill. I don't think a lot of people in the country or indeed in his own party see him as that. He is a prime minister of some desperation for his party. He's been elected as the only man who can keep them in power.
SOARES: He definitely wants to be part of the history books, be read about in years to come. I want to go back, though, to Buckingham Palace. As we saw in the last few minutes, Boris Johnson making his way to Buckingham Palace. A sense of nerves do you think, Quentin, as he goes in? How he will be feeling?
PEEL: He does seem to be remarkably nerve-free. He was asked yesterday whether he was daunted by the prospect and seemed not to be daunted. I think he has a very thick skin.
NOBILO: That was an interesting moment when he did give his speech following the announcement that he was the leader of the Conservative Party and will be prime minister. He asked the audience. He said, "I'm not daunted. Are you daunted?" And there was a deafening silence at that point. I don't think that --
QUEST: The sort of thing you get when you ask people at a wedding.
NOBILO: Yes. A polite response, you might say. But he doesn't seem to be showing his notes. But I think he's been preparing for this.
QUEST: Nic Robertson, you're with us, I hope. And as Boris Johnson is talking in an audience with the Queen in Downing Street, I guess they're ready for his arrival. We expect he'll be in -- with the Queen about 15, 20 minutes.
NIC ROBERSTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. The podium came out just a few minutes ago. I think everyone here was surprised to see him come out so soon, but that is the quick nature of the handover of power here. Theresa May gave her exit speech, the podium was put away. She arrives at Buckingham Palace. She has handed in her resignation.
And barely as Boris Johnson was arriving at Buckingham Palace, the podium was trotted out again, lined up squarely in front of the doors of number 10, just a couple of steps. She will exit number 10 to get to the podium, but it's positioned there so it rather makes me think that Boris Johnson will do what Theresa May did but in reverse.
That the car, the prime ministerial car will not travel all the way through the north of Downing Street. It will stop at the end of the street and he will be able to walk up the street towards the podium. The alternative is he may come in the back door. But heavens above, that's not the moment that he wants.
So, will he go directly to the podium when he walks up? Will he go in, gather his thoughts and then exit to speak or will he just take the microphone and tell us all what we've been waiting to hear? The new statesman, Boris Johnson, telling us how he will improve the country and how he will get this illusive Brexit no deal or otherwise.
QUEST: Nic, I will buy you dinner at any restaurant in London of your choice if Boris Johnson goes in the back door.
SOARES: Doesn't me strike as --
ROBERSTON: Well, thank you. I'm going to send you my notes on where we'll have the first lunch and then we'll move on to dinner. Yes, it may be fair or nice, but I'm not sure.
QUEST: All right, let's go to Capitol Hill where the Mueller inquiry is taking a break.
SOARES: Former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been testifying before Congress, has been testifying for over an hour or so. They're now in a break. The House Judiciary Committee has been asking him about his two year probe into Russian election interference on whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct justice.
[10:15:06] QUEST: Lauren Fox is with us. Lauren, I apologize if I interrupt you but we are waiting for the British prime minister, the new prime minister. Tell us how things have come this morning.
LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, you know, Robert Mueller is really sticking to his report, referring to it constantly as members sort of -- are trying to get him to be a little more narrative in his answers. He really wants to answer yes or no questions.
He has made a big discussion low point for Democrats. He has basically argued that, no, the President was not exonerated in his report. That came in just the first few minutes of this questioning from the chairman, Jerry Nadler, the judiciary chairman.
He basically had asked him, "Is the President exonerated?" And the Special Counsel said, "No, he was not." So, that of course is going to be the headline coming out of this so far. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans also trying to question him into the weeds of his report.
It's very clear, however, that he doesn't really want to go there. He wants to let this report speak for itself. That's what he's been arguing all along. So the big question today, of course, is whether or not Democrats will be able to move the ball forward on their investigations or even a potential impeachment inquiry given just how limited the answers really are from the former special counsel. Richard and Isa?
QUEST: Thank you, Lauren. We'll watch and wait to see more when it comes back. Quentin is with us from Chatham House. What does Boris have to do in the statement when he -- the statement that he gives outside number 10? What's his job?
PEEL: I think the first job is to say I'm going to reach out. I'm not just a man of the hard right, that's why I got this job, but now I want to be inclusive. He's got a really difficult task. He's four -- five ministers now have resigned from Theresa May's cabinet. Maybe they've resigned before there was that.
But nonetheless, there are some of the key ministers going, above all Philip Hammond, the Minister of Finance that Johnson needs to check. And for him to quit, these are people who could now rebel from the back benches and make Boris Johnson's life very difficult if he doesn't swiftly move to say, "I'm going to be an inclusive leader not an exclusive leader."
SOARES: And, Bianca, we -- from Margaret Thatcher created from to the (INAUDIBLE), we saw Theresa May talking about burning injustices. What do you think Boris will tap into?
NOBILO: The curious thing, one of many, about Boris Johnson as a politician is it's very difficult to know which Boris you're going to get. He has a track record of being socially very liberal. He's taken a liberal stance on immigration in the past as well. But, obviously he's delivering Brexit and trying to appeal to the further right constituency within his own party.
Even back to his university years, something which was almost, I'm sure if it's a profitable (ph) or true, but it's often cited to explain Boris Johnson is when he lost out on becoming president of the Oxford Union, a much coveted position which often future prime ministers would have held in their university years.
He lost out to somebody who was a member of a party that was on the left, the British politics. So then Boris Johnson instead of inhabiting the Tory space that he did decided to shift and portray himself as belonging to the other side of the political spectrum as well and then he ended up winning.
Similarly when he is spoken about Boris Johnson deciding which side he was going to back in the referendum, he famously wrote two articles, one agree in favor of Brexit won against. He explained that as wanting to get the arguments clear in his own mind to balance the weight of evidence. But you see why he is a very unpredictable politician in terms of policy.
SOARES: Quentin what do you expect to see from him?
PEEL: Well, he's a politician who likes to please people. He wants to be popular. And as a result I think he is rather a chameleon and that's why people don't know which one they're going to get. Then he'll go over to Brussels. This is the next place he's got to reach out to.
He's got to find some room for maneuver in Brussels. He's actually alienated an awful lot of people on the other side of the channel. They don't trust him precisely because they never really knew where he stood. So, this is a man who somehow got to clarify his position but not too much otherwise he's in the danger of losing.
NOBILO: -- really, Boris Johnson, because you never quite know where he will go. SOARES: Erin McLaughlin is at Buckingham Palace. Erin, I'm sure you've been keeping an eye on your watch or your phone. Give a sense how long Boris Johnson has been in there. But, of course, he walks in as a Member of Parliament, prime minister to be, walking out as prime minister.
[10:20:03] MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, that's right, Isa. He arrived at eight minutes past the hour, so he's been in there around 11 minutes now. Worth noting that the ride over here already bumpy for Johnson. A small group of protesters blocked the mal, blocked his convoy on the way in.
They were swiftly moved to the side by police. Then his convoy proceeded here going through those gates just over there where there's a small crowd of tourists gathered, cutting through the crowd then into the gates of the palace forecourt for the meeting with the Queen.
It's a private meeting. We're not seeing the kind of pomp and ceremony that we normally see, let's say in the United States, with the swearing in of presidents past there. It's much more subdued occasion here, just the Queen and Boris Johnson alone in a room, no one else. And then she asked him to form a government. He walks out as the prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Until we know for sure that done has happened and we are expecting a palace communication to that effect very shortly, the United Kingdom is without a prime minister. Isa?
SOARES: It is without prime minister perhaps for only 30, 40 minutes, but this normally -- it's very smooth transition. Talk to our viewers, Erin, right around the world, talk us through what happened when Boris Johnson meets the Queen. What words are exchanged?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we don't actually know. There's no set format for this as far as we are aware. And if there is, you know, it has not been made public. It is a private meeting between the two of them. It's thought that the Queen will ask him to form a government. It's also thought that he will, of course, accept it.
It's within the Queen's purview even though she is neutral when it comes to politics, not taking one side or the other. It is thought that she is allowed to advise and warn her ministers, including the prime minister.
And it is seen that potential source of concern is, of course, the situation with Brexit, just how divisive the topic has been, the U.K.'s exit from the E.U. That's likely to be on her mind whether she addresses that during this particular meeting with Johnson. Well, we will never -- we will perhaps never know. But it's likely to be a topic of discussion and their subsequent audiences. Remember that the British prime minister meets with the Queen every week.
QUEST: She does. It's one of the most private meetings in the country. No one ever talks about what's said and the only couple of times that it's happened where it has leaked out. Well, it's controlled. Erin, thank you. Watch please for when we see the car leave. And what's interesting is you're seeing at Buckingham Palace the car waiting to take Boris Johnson back to number 10.
Now, we didn't see Theresa May leave. She sort of scuttled out the back door and the next thing you do, you saw her car taking her back to maidenhood. You are going to see a full throttle of Boris Johnson coming out of the entrance of palace, the main entrance and into the car.
And with us is someone who's going to just saying Boris Johnson could become the shortest reigning prime minister in history. He's the SNP's leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford. Good to see you, sir.
IAN BLACKFORD, WESTMINSTER LEADER, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY: Good afternoon. And, of course, the shortest reigning prime minister was 119 days in 1827.
QUEST: Who was that?
BLACKFORD: You know, gosh, I forgot his name. Sadly he died having taken off in April and I think died in the October.
QUEST: Well, we'll find out.
SOARES: We'll do some research.
QUEST: Somebody can tell us.
SOARES: So (INAUDIBLE), you don't think it is going to be very successful?
BLACKFORD: No. Look, at the end of the day he is not been elected by Parliament. You know, there's an instant distinction because of the Scottish Parliament. The members of the Scottish Parliament elect the first minister. So he's been elected by members of the Tory Party. And the Tory's MP election, he got just over 50 percent of the vote. So he doesn't even command a significant majority of Tory MPs.
Something really important happened last week, because members of Parliament, even before Boris go (INAUDIBLE), voted to stop Boris Johnson shutting down Parliament with a majority of 41. The number of Tory, that was approximately for Parliament area saying they don't want no deal.
And I'm pretty convinced that we will find a mechanism over the coming weeks where they can then form a legislation that will knockout that default position that the U.K. leads in a no deal basis at the end of October. That's the objective.
Boris is going to find that the majority of Parliament is against the option that he says as a default (ph) position, that he will do on a do or die basis. Take us up (INAUDIBLE) no deal business. We will stop him doing that.
QUEST: And you accept that the status quo default is a no deal Brexit? BLACKFORD: Yes, I do.
QUEST: Fine. And to change that and to get rid of that status quo, would de facto mean either a deal or remain? Logically, it has to be.
[10:25:10] BLACKFORD: Yes. Well, what happens after that? There can be a number of things that can happen. There could be an election. There could be a referendum on remain versus no deal. So there are number of options that can take place of that point version. But the immediate priority is to stop no deal and it might be that a vote of no confidence has to be talked about, depending what will happen.
NOBILO: But ultimately I agree. But there's all the means, but you're right, those are the ends. It's either leaving with a deal, no deal, or revoking and remain.
BLACKFORD: Well, sure. And I've always been pretty honest with people. I don't think leaving the European Union is a good idea, anyway. And I'll seek to continue to move that point.
You know, Boris Johnson was asked last week on one of the debates on television, what do cost of no deal Brexit? He couldn't answer the question.
QUEST: You're very gracious today in the House, much more so than the leader of the opposition who could barely stomach a nice word of Theresa May. And I thought Harry Harmon (ph) tribute at the end was simply delightful and it was exactly the spirit that one would like to see.
BLACKFORD: Absolutely. Well, we're all human. The prime minister must be hurting or the ex prime minister as you know is. There was no point that we gave the prime minister a hard time to the day she's gone. The focus is now on Boris. Of course it's right to recognize what she's trying to do over the course of the last few years, those are things that I would criticize her for.
But I also wanted to signify where we have worked together, where the government has made sure there has opposition leaders. They've been given information that we needed to be given about national security. And we stood together and things such as I was putting.
And we have to see, there are chief of staff who's been very gracious in the way he's conducting us. Why you think we do that? Because frankly that's the right thing to do. It doesn't take away from the fact that we have political differences. The focus now has to be Boris (INAUDIBLE) at least to his work, not on just the individual in stopping no deal.
SOARES: Ian, I suspect you think this is going to be very rocky compared to what we've seen in the past three years.
BLACKFORD: Oh my goodness, we're in that territory (ph), and I have to say that there are aspects of Boris Johnson's personality which are really quite disagreeable to say the very least. He's been in something to Scotland. He send a poem spend (ph) to the cradle. He's much more than a poem spend and (INAUDIBLE). Those Scotch should become favorable. But he's deeply unpopular in Scotland. In some sense is he's doing my job for me that has increasing support for Scottish independence.
SOARES: Independence, yes.
BLACKFORD: And ultimately -- and I've said this (INAUDIBLE) at least for months, ultimately the people of Scotland will make that choice. Are we going to stay with the chaos with Westminster or will we become an independent that comes in Europe, a destination in Europe?
QUEST: Good to see you.
SOARES: Thanks very much, Ian.
QUEST: Thank you very much, indeed.
BLACKFORD: It's always a pleasure to be on.
QUEST: You know, there's certain sort of perversion of pleasure to know that this is going to be a much more interesting prime minister.
BLACKFORD: A great Chinese cars.
SOARES: And on your question, it was -- who was it?
QUEST: George Canning.
SOARES: George Canning, there you go.
SOARES: Thank you to our producer.
BLACKFORD: Yes, yes.
SOARES: Thanks, Ian. Good to see you.
BLACKFORD: Thank you. Good to see you again. I always enjoy being on with you.
QUEST: Thank you. So, and Nic Robertson is with us. Nic, as we wait, I think it's time for a little bit of how many prime ministers can we remember now that -- Nic Robertson, are you with us?
ROBERSTON: I am with you. I can remember several. I mean, people are saying that this is there --
ROBERTSON: Some types. I can remember several.
QUEST: This is the 14th. Right.
ROBERTSON: So under this --
QUEST: All right, so the first one was Winston Churchill, then you have McMillan, Eden and Douglas-Home. Who do we have after that?
ROBERSTON: I believe you had Wilson after that. I think, and maybe he got two terms. I'm not sure the two terms. We had Wilson. Remember, you get into the Ed Heath-Wilson flip-flop era, which I remember well. I think the miner strikes fell in that era at some point. Was that the in '70s where we had to walk to school with the streetlights off? I'm sure you remember that, Richard.
QUEST: I do. And Wilson leads to Callaghan and the winter of discontent, which takes use to Thatcher in '79. After Thatcher?
ROBERSTON: Well, we had John Major, didn't we? A few tears on the doorstep, John Major and then of course that huge revolution that I remember, the euphoria, '97 when Tony Blair swept him with that dunking majority.
I remember attending his speech. I think he was to the party that was just across the river on the South Bank side, huge sense of utter achievement of breaking the conservative lock for so many years, an era of opportunity.
And the time we may look back on that, something as sort of centrist politics where we seem to be drifting into this division and who at the moment would want to take up the center. Certainly it doesn't seem to be labor on the Jeremy Corbyn.
QUEST: So, and now we're up to the time where you would have been alive.
SOARES: We both -- Bianca and I were both would have been alive.
SOARES: We went into Gordon Brown from Tony Blair.
[10:30:03] QUEST: Right, Gordon Brown. After Gordon Brown it's David Cameron --
SOARES: It's David Cameron.
QUEST: -- Theresa May and now Boris Johnson. We are still waiting for Johnson. He's had a good 25 minutes, I supposed. They are going to have a bit of a chitchat about what's going to happen and all of the logistic and that sort of thing before Johnson, the prime minister. It does sound very strange to say the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
NOBILO: It's the first time we've said it probably on air.
QUEST: Well, yes, in that sense. Carole is with us as well.
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, good afternoon.
QUEST: Good afternoon.
WALKER: Quite a day. Quite a day. I mean, I just find the ceremony of this handover of power, the cars going to Buckingham Palace, wouldn't we all have loved to have been a fly on the wall as Her Majesty bids farewell to one prime minister, welcomes Boris Johnson, her 14th prime minister since she took power and since she has been on the throne, I should say.
And, one, just wonders what words of advice she would have given to the incoming prime minister, Boris Johnson. Of course her first was Winston Churchill and so many people would like to compare both of them.
NOBILO: In comparison --
WALKER: It could be Boris Johnson.
NOBILO: -- by Boris Johnson.
SOARE: He does need advice because as our last guest, Ian Blackford, was explaining technically, even though he's not quite prime minister yet, he's already suffered his first parliamentary defeat in the fact that the House of Commons voted to basically make prorogation, the suspension of Parliament, all but impossible which was considered to be one mechanism by which a government could stir through a no deal without allowing Parliament the opportunity to intervene and that was directed specifically at Boris Johnson. It wasn't a concern they had about Theresa May.
QUEST: Fascinating the way it's all coming together. We do await Boris Johnson. And when he leaves the palace, and it will be any time now, we're hearing that he's expected at Downing Street at about 3:30.
And the pictures from Downing Street show that people are assembling outside. That will be his staff that's all joining in assembling at Downing Street being prepared. He has a different task, Carole, in Downing Street this time than he did yesterday when he spoke.
WALKER: Yes, absolutely. Yesterday after he'd been elected as leader of the Conservative Party, it had all the feel of a stunt campaign speech. There were a few jokes. He acknowledged that a few people in the room might be somewhat surprised that he'd actually emerged as party leader.
He came out with his determination to deliver Brexit, to unite the party, to defeat Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader. And then add it in this idea of energizing politics which gave him this dude acronym picked up by many of the papers today.
But, although -- yes, that's given the papers a good headline and, of course, he is a former journalist. I think what people will be looking for today is a sense that he does recognize the responsibility, the gravity of the situation which he is about to inherit.
The daunting obstacles that lie ahead of him not just in terms of delivering Brexit, but also, of course, yes, of trying to unite not just the Conservative Party but a country which is pretty divided.
QUEST: Nic Robertson, let's hear from you if we may, because pulling the strands together of the political change, and if I'm not mistaken, the Johnson staffs on the Downing Street, staffs are starting to assemble.
ROBERSTON: Well, not only them, but look who's come out onto the street here to take a look what's going on. And if you look behind the camera here, it can get Larry. But here comes Larry, the only permanent resident of number 10 strolling up the street as if he owned it.
Well, by the way, he does. He is not fussed by the flashbulbs, not fussed by the people who is going to a sunny spot on the other side of the street. So, he's come out to welcome in the new master. It seems they're all coming out here.
There really is an atmosphere, new staffs apparently waiting on the other side of the street. The changed of guard already were seeing there. Journalists waiting and I think not to put too light a point on it, Larry the Cat, the mouser of Downing Street, the official mouser, is something of a star here.
To see him step outside is a little sort of light entertainment along the way, if you will. But he is genuinely the only permanent resident here. It matters not a whit to him who gets elect. He gets to stay. His job is to catch the mice. Boris Johnson, of course, will have to handle the affairs of state.
[10:35:07] QUEST: We believe that Boris Johnson has now kissed hands and he has now been invited to form a government in the name of Her Majesty and is -- essentially while he is the British prime minister.
We don't know if once he gets back -- and by the way, I'm trying to look at that car to see if it is the same one that took Theresa May. I don't think it is. I think her car was dark blue and that's light -- and that's gray, which means they must have more than two.
SOARES: I suspect, too. And when he leaves, the first moments, of course, that we see Boris Johnson leaving Buckingham Palace, this is -- that will be his moment. This is the change of the garb. That's it for him. He is officially the prime minister of the United Kingdom. Then the work truly becomes --
QUEST: Bianca, the weight of the job. I mean, Theresa May had it for three years. And I saw the pictures of her when she went in to Downing Street. And I saw them yesterday, she aged.
NOBILO: This is like every single world leader. If you looked at before and after there is --
QUEST: But she was only there for three years. NOBILO: She was only there for three years, but then considered the gravity of the office and the issues that she had to confront. A question that a lot of people are asking is will Boris Johnson, in his colorful character and political maverick style, be changed somewhat by this office. It's a question which people asked of Donald Trump as well when he came to power. The key setting points to him as a politician.
Are they going to remain with him when he has to take on all the challenges of the British government? And that's something which we'll see clearly outlined in the speech that he's going to give today.
Yesterday when he was addressing the Conservative Party members and lawmakers, he reversed it to his own natural style, which we've seen stifled somewhat during the campaign.
WALKER: Absolutely. And anyone who has been prime minister and those who have been working closely alongside them all say that absolutely nothing prepares you for the enormous pressure, the relentless pressure to make decisions from the moment you step through that front door of Downing Street. And I think that is something that really will hit Boris Johnson. And although he's somebody that's so widely recognized, his real qualities are still so unknown. There is a big --
WALKER: It is. And there's a big question even from of those who have been his strongest supporters are doing so in the desperate hopes slightly with their fingers crossed that he is going to manage to live up to the huge challenges that he will face once he does take up the role of prime minister.
NOBILO: And testament to those challenges is almost immediately after he becomes prime minister he'll get a briefing from his defense advisers about the threats facing the United Kingdom.
QUEST: Right. The cars look like they're starting to move into position, which means -- or at least we saw one of them move. We now know that Boris Johnson is the British Prime Minister. The Queen has invited him to form a government in her name and he has accepted. And we are awaiting the pictures of that moment coming from Buckingham Palace. The car that will take him back is there. He will go back to the palace. And Isa Soares, we don't -- go ahead.
SOARES: And he will go back to the -- he will go from the palace. He will make his way, of course, to Downing Street. We do not know which route he's going to take. We do know -- we suspect he's going to go down the main -- come in main -- front door, Richard.
QUEST: The mal.
SOARES: The mal, yes.
QUEST: I would -- well, I was going to say, it's the obvious way. But --
WALKER: I think he will want to sweep in to through the front gates.
QUEST: Oh, yes, right, right.
SOARES: But the route.
QUEST: Up way to around less (ph) square and down the mal or right around Parliament Square.
NOBILO: Or seeing it grouped.
WALKER: Goodness. I think Boris Johnson will want to wave as to many people as possible. It's interesting. When Tony Blair took power in 1997, his very canny media team had arranged for the street to be full of Labour supporters, including children waving new Labour flags, giving it a real sense of occasion.
Funnily enough as with today, it was a warm sunny day. And it allowed the incoming prime minister, Tony Blair, to talk about how a new dawn had broken, how the sun had come out.
Fascinating that when Gordon Brown finally left office after days and days, of course, of negotiation after the 2010 election which was inconclusive, his team made sure that Gordon Brown didn't actually leave Downing Street until after dark.
[10:40:06] So that when David Cameron arrived, he had to do so in the dark, which of course meant that there was a very different feel to the television pictures of his arrival in Downing Street, even though David Cameron had coined that phrase of let sunshine win the day.
SOARES: Carole, we assumed that's he's going in from main front door, of course, of 10 Downing Street. Do we know whether he's going to go into 10 Downing Street and then take a pause, compose himself and then come out, or do you think he'll go straight to his speech?
WALKER: Usually what happens is that the prime minister will arrive, will want to be greeted by the official staff, will take a couple of moments to draw breath to prepare himself to step up to the podium. But, you know, there's no real script to stick to on these occasions.
QUEST: That actually to adopt the street. Of course, it's very different in those days. Downing Street was open. There wasn't the security, but I can -- and there was a scrum around that. The press wasn't even corralled on the other side of the street in those days. They just -- I wonder if he has been practicing quote.
WALKER: Well, fascinating. And journalists, I don't know whether Nic Robinson noticed that there in the street is apparently he's got his own lit and apparently it's not the one that Theresa May used. The lectern on the street in Downing Street is a different one. (INAUDIBLE) her word and a lot of journalists are trying to work out what the real significance is of Boris Johnson having brought his own lectern symbolizing the new prime minister.
SOARES: Let's ask Nic.
QUEST: Nic, Nic, are you there?
ROBERSTON: Well, I am here and I'm now looking at the lectern thinking, yes, what makes this so special? Clearly, a little different. But practicing the lines, practicing the lines getting inside the mind of the man here, we know that when he wrote about Winston Churchill, who we know that he loves dearly, he talks about Churchill practicing his lines writing, trying the sentences, saying the sentences, trying to get them to the cadence right to sound right, to sound how he wanted them to deliver.
There's the hub, the full meaning land with full effect. One can imagine Boris Johnson perhaps doing the same. This is the moment, is it not, when he arrives here to get it right, send the right message in the right tone.
His cadence yesterday, the energy, the enthusiasm, yes, it all sped up just a little bit too fast in that speech almost to take him. I think today it will be a little more settled. But let's see. Let's see what he does.
QUEST: And there, we're showing you now the picture of Prime Minister Boris Johnson meeting his sovereign, the Queen, and becoming the 14th prime minister of the reign of Elizabeth II. He takes over -- he forms a government in her name and -- but we haven't actually seemed him yet. And we're imagining it's just formalities. He's leaving -- he'll leave the palace and head back to Downing Street.
And Nic Robertson, while you're at Downing Street, the mood, how would you describe it? Jubilant from the new people or trepidation for what's next?
ROBERSTON: Well, I just glanced over at his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, who's standing there waiting on the step in a pink dress. Yes, I think there are some a little bit of an trepidation. No doubt, this is a huge and wonderful moment for her and certainly she'll understand how much it means to Boris.
Right now -- and I'm looking at faces of some of the people that came in from the back entrance. Some of those are now waiting over there outside the doors of number 11 where the previous staff was standing and there was a quite -- you can see the aura on their faces as they looked around and saw all these cameras and all these reporters and everyone with their microphones and cameras standing around.
But, yes, it is a moment of waiting, a little bit of reflection. I think that the atmosphere is set right. It is getting to that moment where you could hear a pin drop, not quite, not quite few cameras clicking, but we're getting there.
SOARES: If -- Nic, let's stay with you. We'd love to see if we can get your camera to just give us -- just turn the camera a bit to -- actually the team, they're waiting. The Johnson teams are waiting for his arrival, including Carrie Symonds, who's dressed in a pink dress there waiting for him arrive. This is the new Johnson team, the new prime minister's team waiting for his arrival.
[10:45:01] We're also keeping a close eye on Buckingham Palace to wait -- really to see him come out at Buckingham Palace and then make his way to Downing Street.
QUEST: And the moment, of course, we never did find out what happened with the police the night that they were called to, Carole, flat, to the flat -- her flat for an altercation with Boris. And he maintained that he did not -- he was not going to bring other people into his private life and it seemed to have stuck.
WALKER: Yes, extraordinary. There's been a huge amount of speculation as to what role Carrie Symonds will play, whether she will be there as his official partner in Downing Street. He was asked about this several times during the leadership contest. And he stuck rigidly to -- saying that he felt that it wasn't fair on individuals such as Carrie Symonds or other members of his family to talk about his private life.
QUEST: Standby. It looks as if -- sorry to interrupt to you, forgive me Carole. It looks like there were some footmen who just left, which means nothing, of course. I'm guessing -- I'd forgotten it's the palace. There's no -- no, no.
SOARES: When there's movement, it is a sign of something.
QUEST: It is. That's the one with the security guards. There it is. Let's watch and just listen.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson even with a Churchillian stooped as he leaves the palace and the motorcade is on the way. Nic Robertson, get standing by please.
Erin McLaughlin, just tell me, can you see -- just briefly, can you see the car coming past when it does? Erin?
MCLAUGHLIN: Not at the moment, Richard. It's unclear where this car will exit, where his convoy will leave. You can see just that way, though -- there it is. There's the convoy. You see the crowd. There he goes. That's the prime minister's car, Prime Minister Boris Johnson exiting Buckingham Palace after his audience with the Queen. He's now going to Downing Street where Nic Robertson is to address the country.
QUEST: Erin, thank you.
MCLAUGHLIN: A truly euphoric occasion here today, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you. OK. Erin, we're going to leave you. We're going to Nic Robertson in a second. Nic, once the car has gone up, around the top of that (INAUDIBLE) down Whitehall, we'll come to you, please, to talk us through what's happening in Downing Street. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now on his way.
SOARES: He's en route to Downing Street. This, I'm sure is the moment he has dreamt of since he was a very little boy. This is something he's always wanted and he'll be perhaps, Richard, practicing his lines, practicing his speech.
QUEST: This is the moment he has to get it right. The thing that I still find fascinating is they haven't shutoff the streets. And you just don't get the roads cut off when the prime minister is moving or even really if the Queen is on the move, because it's simply just too disruptive.
At the moment, they are now traveling. The prime minister, not a huge convoy compare to, let's say the U.S. president, but perhaps nothing is.
SOARES: Absolutely. And he will be going -- he's going up there. It's not very far, actually, less than two or three minutes or so away, unless of course he takes a different route, he takes a longer scenic route. We're expecting him to make his way, front entrance as you expect, for a new prime minister to Downing Street here.
QUEST: And through Admiralty Arch and into Trafalgar Square.
SOARES: Trafalgar Square, yes.
WALKER: And, of course, one of the things that he'll immediately be getting used to or perhaps not getting used to, will be struck by the fact that he's suddenly surrounded by security. He no longer has to drive his own car. He has the prime ministerial car to drive him around already.
QUEST: More than that, he will get use today the fact that the traffic lights are always green. They used to say that's about all political leaders. And, look, there they are weaving their way through the traffic.
SOARES: There were passersby. There were people waving in the streets there in Trafalgar Square.
QUEST: I know that turn well. You'll always get caught on that corner.
SOARES: There's always very heavy traffic, but clearly he has avoided that.
QUEST: And into Whitehall, down to Whitehall in Downing Street, Nic Robertson, please, take over the story.
ROBERSTON: Well, this is the moment everyone is waiting for. No one waiting for it more than Boris Johnson's girlfriend, Carrie Symonds standing across the street here where you can see the assembled staff waiting. Carrie Symonds is waiting.
[10:50:05] Of course, I'm in a duck down myself now because, of course, Boris Johnson will be coming up the street momentarily. And all the cameras here, the dozens upon dozens of cameras have to get their clear shots and there we see the motorbikes down at the end of Downing Street, their lights flashing. That's where the attentions turn. How many journalists can I count here? Well, there must be several hundred at least. The police outride the motorbikes at the entrance to the Downing Street and everyone here, the anticipation in this street.
Now, here they come up the street. Police motorcycle outrider. The new prime minister, Boris Johnson, sweeping now up the street. The cars parking short. They'll have a long walk. Will he throw comments to the journalists? And here he is. Buttons his jacket. Of course, this is the man on a mission. This is a man about to take the country in a new direction.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Good Afternoon. I have just been to see Her Majesty, the Queen who has invited me to form a government and I have accept it. I pay tribute to the fortitude and patients of my predecessor, her deep sense of public service.
But in spite of all her efforts, it has become clear that there are pessimists at home and abroad who think after three years of indecision that this country has become a prisoner to the old arguments of 2016. And in this home of democracy, we are incapable of honoring a democratic mandate.
And so I am standing before you today to tell you, the British people, that those critics are wrong. The doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters, they are going to get it wrong again. The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we're going to restore trust in our democracy.
And we're going to fulfill the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the E.U. on October 31st, no ifs or buts. And we will do a new deal, a better deal. We will maximize the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support.
I have every confidence that in 99 days time we will have cracked it. But you know what, we aren't going to wait 99 days because the British people have had enough of waiting. The time has come to act, to take decisions, to give strong leadership and to change this country for the better.
And though the Queen has just honored me with this extraordinary office of state, my job is to serve you, the people. Because if there's one point we politicians need to remember, it is that the people are our bosses.
My job is to make your streets safer. And we're going to begin with another 20,000 police on the streets and we start recruiting forthwith. My job is to make sure you don't have wait three weeks to see your GP and we start work this week with 20 new hospital upgrades and ensuring that the money for the NHS really does get to the front line.
My job is to protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care. And so I am announcing now on the steps of Downing Street that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.
My job is to make sure your kids get a superb education wherever they are in the country and that's why we have already announced that we're going to level up per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools. And that is the work that begins immediately behind that black door.
And though I am today building a great team of men and women, I will take personal responsibility for the change I want to see. Never mind the back stop, the buck stops here. And I'll tell you something else about my job.
[10:55:001] It is to be prime minister of the whole United Kingdom and that means uniting our country, answering at last the plea of the forgotten people of the left behind town, by physically and literally renewing that the ties that bind us together so that we have safer streets and better education and fantastic new road and rail infrastructure and full fiber broadband.
We level up across Britain with higher wages, higher living rate, higher productivity. We close the opportunity, gap giving millions of young people the chance to own their own homes and giving business the confidence to invest across the U.K. because it is time we unleashed the productive power, not just of London and the Southeast, but of every corner of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The awesome foursome that are incarnated in that red, white and blue flag who together are so much more than the sum of their parts and whose brand and political personality is admired and even loved around the world for our inventiveness, for our humor, for our universities, our scientists, our armed forces, our diplomacy.
For the equalities on which we insist whether race or gender or LGBT or the right of every girl in the world to 12 years of quality education, for values we stand for around the world.
Everyone knows the values that flag represents. It stands for freedom and free speech and habeas corpus and the rule of law. And above all, it stands for democracy and that is why we will come out of the E.U. on October 31st, because in the end Brexit was a fundamental decision by the British people, they they wanted their laws made by people that they can elect and they can remove from office.
And we must now respect that decision and create a new partnership with our European friends as warm, as close and as affectionate as possible. And the first step is to repeat unequivocally our guarantee to the 3.2 million E.U. nationals now living and working among us.
And I say directly to you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your contribution to our society. Thank you for your patience and I can assure you that under this government you will have the absolute certainty of the right to live and remain.
And I say next to our friends in Ireland and in Brussels and around the E.U., I am convinced that we can do a deal without checks of the Irish border, because we refuse under any circumstances to have such chips and yet without that anti-democratic backstab. And it is of course it is vital at the same time that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate.
And we are forced to come out with no deal, not because we want that outcome, or course not, but because it is only common sense to prepare. And let me stress that there is a vital sense in which those preparations cannot be wasted. And that is because under any circumstances we will need to get ready at some point in the near future to come out of the E.U. customs union and out of regulatory control.
Fully determined at last to take advantage of Brexit because that is the course on which this country is now set. With high hearts and growing confidence, we will now accelerate the work of getting ready. And the ports will be ready, and the banks will be ready, and the factories will be ready, and business will be ready, and the hospitals will be ready, and our amazing food and farming sector will be ready and waiting to continue selling ever more, not just here but around the world.
And don't forget in the event of a no deal outcome, we will have that extra lubrication of the 39 billion pounds. And whatever deal we do, we will prepare this autumn for an economic package to boost British business and to lengthen this country's lead as the number one destination in this continent for overseas investment.
And to those who continue to prophesy disaster, I say, yes, there will be difficulties, though I believe that with energy and application they will be far less serious than some have claimed.
But if there is one thing that has really sapped the confidence of business over the last three years, it is not the decisions we have taken, it is our refusal to take decisions. And to those who say we cannot be ready, I say do not underestimate this country. Do not underestimate our powers of organization and our determination because we know the enormous strength of this economy in life science, in tech, in academia, in music, the arts, culture, financial services.