Australia’s relationship with the United Kingdom is expected to remain strong no matter who is chosen to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.
The scandal-ridden Mr Johnson announced he would resign from the top job on Thursday night AEST after dramatically losing the support of his ministers and most Conservative MPs.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Mr Johnson’s plight was a reminder of how tough politics can be.
“This is a difficult process for Boris personally, but I’m sure that the Australia-UK relationship will continue to thrive in the future,” he told the Nine Network on Friday.
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Mr Albanese said Mr Johnson’s forward-leaning response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine set an example for the rest of the world to take action.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is widely expected to replace Mr Johnson as prime minister.
Mr Albanese met Ms Truss during the NATO summit in Madrid.
“We will work with whoever the UK Conservative Party elect as the new leader and therefore the new prime minister,” he said.
“Our relations are not relations between individuals, they’re relations between peoples and our countries.”
Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham said Mr Johnson’s resignation shouldn’t affect the AUKUS pact, free-trade agreements or response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“(Australia and the UK) have much to offer each other,” Senator Birmingham told Sky News.
“The reasons that have essentially driven Boris Johnson to the point of resigning are all to do with domestic politics, they don’t represent any issues in relation to the UK’s stance on important global matters.”
Former Liberal minister and high commissioner to the UK George Brandis described Mr Johnson as the most consequential British leader since Margaret Thatcher.
“Boris Johnson is a real fighter and he would have sought to hold on to the very end but … his position had become entirely politically unviable,” Mr Brandis told ABC radio on Friday.
Mr Brandis said Mr Johnson will be remembered for delivering Brexit, a feat that had destroyed his predecessor’s political ambitions.
“It took Johnson to do it, and he did it,” he said.
“That is an extraordinarily important development in Britain not just in recent British politics, but in the course of British history and he will be forever identified with it.”