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Johnson praises 'principled' Cameron

Press AssociationPress Association 24/06/2016

Vote Leave campaign leader Boris Johnson has paid tribute to David Cameron as "one of the most extraordinary politicians of our age" following the prime minister's decision to step down after the Brexit vote.

The former London mayor says Cameron is a "brave and principled man" who has given "superb leadership".

Giving his reaction to the Leave camp's victory, Johnson insisted the Brexit vote "does not mean that the United Kingdom will be in any way less united" or "less European".

In a speech at Vote Leave's headquarters in London on Friday morning, he said: "I believe the British people have spoken up for democracy in Britain and across Europe and I think we can be very proud of the result."

He said nothing would change over the short term following the Brexit vote.

"In voting to leave the EU it is vital to stress that there is now no need for haste and indeed as the prime minister has just said, nothing will change over the short term," he said.

Johnson said that in the future Britain would benefit from the vote to leave.

"We can find our voice in the world again, a voice that is commensurate with the fifth-biggest economy on Earth," he said.

"I believe we now have a glorious opportunity: we can pass our laws and set our taxes entirely according to the needs of the UK economy."

Earlier an angry crowd labelled Johnson a "twat" and "scum" as he emerged from his London home following the Leave campaign's historic victory in the EU referendum.

The prominent Brexiteer was heckled on his way to the Vote Leave headquarters. When he finally left, he was flanked by several police officers who escorted him to a waiting car.

One member of the public was heard to shout "twat" before a short time later Johnson's car was trapped by a crowd of around 40 cyclists and onlookers blocking a junction.

His vehicle was halted for around five minutes and police officers, who had been guarding his home, were nowhere to be seen.

The crowd taunted him with shouts of "where are you going, Boris?" and "scum!" and hurled other profanities as his car was trapped in front of a green light, unable to move.

One man yelled: "The pound is down, what do you say about that? Is it going to be all right, Boris? Is the UK going to be all right, Boris? Are we going to be all right, mate? Come on, man up."

Officers eventually arrived at the junction around 200 metres from his house, where they had been controlling a media scrum and crowds of onlookers.

There were cries of "shame" as the car, with tinted windows, was eventually freed and moved off.

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