Brexit supremo Dominic Cummings wept on Friday night as his bitterly fought mission to drag Britain out of the EU was finally realised.
At a Downing Street party to toast in the historic moment, the campaign guru who masterminded the 2016 Leave vote tried to make a victory speech but choked up.
With a lump in his throat, he just about managed to say: ‘Those that know what we went through, know.’
Watching Mr Cummings, who relishes his reputation as a political street-fighter, break down in tears was like ‘the scene at the end of The Terminator 2 when Arnold Schwarzenegger says, “I know now why you cry”,’ an insider told the Sunday Times.
At the Number 10 bash, the Prime Minister toasted his Brexit triumph with a bottle of one of the world’s finest red wines left to him in a supporter’s will.
Boris Johnson opened the 1994 vintage Chateau Margaux that was sent to him last year, with a message for it not to be drunk until Britain was out of the EU.
Boris Johsnon banged Britain out of the EU with a small antique gong in Number 10 on Friday night – a nod to his doomed campaign to have Big Ben bong to mark the moment
The Prime Minister gave a speech to Downing Street and former Vote Leave staffers in the state rooms and hailed ‘a fantastic moment in the life of our country’
The beyond-the-grave instruction and £350 bottle of claret, pictured below, were included in the final testament of a Eurosceptic Tory Party member.
The Bordeaux Premier Cru was much loved by French Emperor Napoleon III and United States founding father Thomas Jefferson, and was drunk by the Beckhams at Christmas in 2017.
Earlier on Friday, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom tweeted a photo of Mr Johnson showing off his new blue British passport to former Labour MP and Vote Leave campaigner Gisela Stuart.
The Prime Minister and his partner Carrie Symonds then joined No 10 staff, Tory donors and veterans of the 2016 referendum in the Downing Street state rooms, where guests were served English sparkling wine instead of champagne.
The couple’s dog Dilyn was dressed in a Union Flag coat.
Earlier on Friday, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom (right) tweeted a photo of Mr Johnson showing off his new blue British passport to former Labour MP and Vote Leave campaigner Gisela Stuart (centre)
Mr Johnson banged Britain out of the EU with a small antique gong – a nod to his doomed campaign to have Big Ben bong to mark the moment.
Mr Johnson told those present: ‘This is a fantastic moment in the life of our country. There are very few moments that can be called a historic turning point – and this is it.
‘This is not the end, or the beginning of the end; it’s the beginning of the beginning,’ he said, paraphrasing Churchill.
‘This is a turning point in the life of our nation.’
The PM added: ‘This is the start of something fantastic and different. And this is our chance to do something different and fantastic with our wonderful country.’
Mr Johnson told the audience he knew many of them did not vote Leave in the 2016 referendum, but he ‘didn’t care’.
‘We did it, we absolutely did it. But much more important than that, this is a turning point for the life of our nation and a genuine chance for change and renewal,’ he said.
‘This is not the end, or the beginning of the end; it’s the beginning of the beginning,’ he said, paraphrasing Churchill
Boris Johnson (pictured left in Sunderland yesterday) hailed the role of his adviser Dominic Cummings (pictured right in London last night) at a Downing Street reception to mark Brexit
‘It is the moment where we have to answer the demand of those who voted for Brexit in 2016.’
He went on: ‘I want to thank those sitting at home watching on television, the people of this country – the real heroes of this story.’
And after thanking Mr Cummings and other staff, he added: I want you all to remember you were here tonight after 11pm, in Downing Street, when we got Brexit done.’
They were served a selection of patriotic canapes including fillet of lamb on toast, Shropshire blue cheese, beef and Yorkshire pudding with horseradish sauce, mushrooms tarts and roast chicken skewers.
Meanwhile, outside a countdown was projected on to the famous No10 black door from 10pm – and a pre-recorded address to the nation by Mr Johnson was broadcast.
A countdown was projected on to the famous No10 black door from 10pm, as the party continued inside
Mr Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds tweeted a picture of their dog Dilyn dressed up in a Union flag coat last night
The PM did nod to the scale of the task that now faces the government to thrash out trade terms with the EU and overhaul the UK’s services, saying they had to move ‘very fast’.
‘I am a Conservative and we are going to deliver a fantastic agenda to take this country forward. And time is marching and we’ve got to go very, very fast to get it all done.’
He also paid tribute to Mr Cummings, pointing out that he had been the architect of the Vote Leave campaign and drove the Tory election strategy that resulted in a stunning 80-strong majority last month.
‘It was he, I seem to remember, who came up with the famous phrase that we should ‘take back control’.
‘It was also Dom that came up with the other three word epigram, that the policy of the government should be to ”get Brexit done”.
‘And I want you to remember that you were here tonight, after 11 oclock, when finally, we got Brexit done.’
In nearby Parliament Square, Union flags were prominently on show as Brexit supporters showed their delight about the departure from the EU
Many of the pro-Brexit revellers had decided to dress up for the good-natured party in Parliament Square last night
The massive change was also recorded in lights on the white cliffs of Dover as the UK came to terms with the new reality