Boris has posted an open farewell and thank-you to his constituents in the Henley Standard. The full text is now repeated here (click on the following line)::
Dear all, — When I set out on my mission to unseat Ken Livingstone more than nine months ago, there were all kinds of risks.
There was a considerable risk that I would be thrashed by the Great Newt.
And then there was a risk that I would win — and therefore lose Henley, just about the loveliest seat in the House of Commons.
At the time, I have to admit, it seemed a pretty small risk. London has 74 parliamentary seats, of which only 19 are in Conservative hands.
Were the people of London really going to go for a Conservative mayor?
Well, they have. I am writing this from ex-Mayor Livingstone’s eyrie in City Hall, and it is time for Henley to find itself a new MP.
It will be a huge wrench for me. I want to thank you all for putting up with me for what has been the seven happiest and most productive years of my professional life.
I think we got some good things done. We have removed the threat to Townlands, the Chilterns Resource Centre is thriving. I can think of at least one local pub that might have gone under had it not been for our campaign.
Even in South Oxfordshire there are people who are in desperate need and who find it difficult to cope with the cost of housing. It was a privilege to help.
Above all, I really did enjoy my surgery. In about 25 per cent of cases I found that we really could make a difference to someone’s life — and sometimes a very big difference. I think that was pretty good going.
In fact, the more I think of it, the more jealous I am of the brilliant new MP you will shortly discover. He or she will inherit the second most heavily wooded constituency in England (fact) and far and away the most attractive.
He or she will represent a town with the second oldest theatre outside London, a distinguished museum, a book festival, and the world’s most glorious annual celebration of pointless aquatic exertion!
He or she will also have the joy of some of the nicest and kindest constituents you could hope to meet — as well as some of the most eccentric. So thanks for having me, folks.
And especial thanks to those doughty few who came to campaign in London over the last few weeks — no doubt at least partly motivated by the hope of getting rid of me!
With best wishes,