One word in Boris Johnson's resignation speech has sparked a massive debate

One word in Boris Johnson's resignation speech has sparked a massive debate
'Them's the breaks', says Boris Johnson as he resigns from office

The world is still reeling after Boris Johnson announced his resignation on Thursday – but one word from his speech is sticking out to political commentators more than most.

After more than 50 resignations from his own government, Johnson appeared outside Number 10 and confirmed he was stepping back from the "best job in the world".

He acknowledged there would be "many people who are relieved" as well as "perhaps quite a few who will be quite disappointed".

Johnson also used a term to describe the UK’s political system which left a few people mystified.

The word? Darwinian.

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“As we've seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves,” Johnson said.

"And my friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times, not just helping families to get through it, but changing and improving the way we do things.”

“Darwinian”, as defined by the Collins Dictionary, means “of or relating to Charles Darwin or his theory of evolution by natural selection”.

People on social media took issue with the word, accusing Johnson of shifting blame onto a 'survival of the fittest' system for his exit, and for not facing up to his failures. It comes after people also voiced their anger over a total lack of an apology in the speech.

Presenter Chris Packham said: “Our political system isn’t ‘Darwinian’ . Evolution works on a ruthless and effective meritocracy . And it’s functional , has been for billions of years . Our political system as it stands should be extinct because it’s plainly not functional and bloody obviously not a meritocracy.”

Commentator Kojo Koram added: “The 'Darwinian system' line was really telling on himself.

“Politics isn't public service for these guys. It's all a personal struggle for survival, where you kill the weak through natural selection and pass down the gains to your offspring.”

Glen O’Hara wrote: “’Darwinian'. That very Johnsonian word has been bothering me all day. 'Darwinian'. Parties, polities and nations are not held together in such a way - rather by fellow-feeling, cooperation, tolerance, identity and community. 'Darwinian' is a key error.”

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