'Ill words mean ill deeds': Theresa May delivers extraordinary parting shot at Boris Johnson, Trump and Putin, warning of the rise of 'unprincipled' politicians who refuse to compromise as she delivers final big speech as Prime Minister
'Theresa May launched extraordinary swipes at Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin today as she warned 'loud' leaders that 'ill words' ultimately led to 'ill deeds'.
In a valedictory speech, the PM - who steps down next week - said she had 'lived' politics for 50 years, and knew about its potential to 'improve people's lives'.
But she voiced dismay at the toxic state of debate, saying Western civilisation was at a 'pivot point' and people had to operate in the 'real world' rather than making 'promises they cannot keep'.
In barely-veiled jibes at her likely successor Mr Johnson and Brexit hardliners - as well as the US and Russian presidents - she told the audience at Chatham House: 'Getting things done rather than simply getting them said, requires some qualities that have become unfashionable of late.
'One of them is a willingness to compromise. That does not mean compromising your values… it means being driven by and when necessary standing up for your values and convictions, but doing so in the real world in the arena of public life where others are making their own case and pursuing their own interests.'
She added: 'Words have consequences - and ill words that go unchallenged are the first step on a continuum towards ill deeds.'
Underlining her anger that she had failed to get a Brexit compromise through Parliament, Mrs May added: 'The alternative is a politics of winners and losers of absolute and perpetual strife and that threatens us all.'
The outgoing PM has so far remained a largely impartial observer of the Tory leadership race to replace her.
Mr Johnson has faced accusations of spraying around pledges that he may struggle to deliver when in office during the leadership contest.
His rival in the battle for Number 10, Jeremy Hunt, has directly accused him of advocating 'populist' policies.
But with the race between Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt now drawing to a close, Mrs May delivered her most combative assessment of the political landscape.'
Read more: 'Ill words mean ill deeds': Theresa May delivers extraordinary parting shot at Boris Johnson, Trump and Putin, warning of the rise of 'unprincipled' politicians who refuse to compromise as she delivers final big speech as Prime Minister
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19 May 2019
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