Boris Johnson pledged to repay the trust of former Labour voters who switched to back the Tories as he held a victory rally today deep in what was once red territory following his landslide election victory.
The Prime Minister went to Sedgefield, the former seat of Tony Blair, which was a brick in the so-called Red Wall that collapsed in the face of a blue wave on Thursday night.
Addressing supporters he said he appreciated that some people had broken ‘the voting habits of generations’ to support him but they had helped to ‘change the country for the better’.
He said: ‘I want the people of the North East to know that we in the Conservative Party and I will repay your trust – and everything that we do, everything that I do as your Prime Minister, will be devoted to repaying that trust.
‘And first of all what are we going to do? We’re going to get Brexit done.’
And he added that he wanted to bring the country together, saying he would also focus on the NHS, education and law and order.
He added: ‘Our country has embarked on a wonderful adventure. We are going to recover our national self confidence, our mojo, self belief, and we are going to do things differently and better as a country. Because we can.’
The triumphant procession came as Labour turned on itself after Jeremy Corbyn handed Mr Johnson an 80-seat majority in the opposition’s worst defeat since 1935.
Some areas, such as Bishop Auckland and Redcar, had never elected a Tory MP before Thursday night’s shock result.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell became the first big name to confirm they would follow Mr Corbyn out of the door.
He announced today that he would not serve in the shadow cabinet under the new leader, due to be appointed in the new year.
Who that new leader is looks set to be to focus of a bitter ideological battle within the left-wing party.
The Prime Minister went to Sedgefield, the former seat of Tony Blair , which was a brick in the so-called Red Wall that collapsed in the face of a blue wave on Thursday night
Mr Corbyn (pictured today) last night dismissed calls to step down immediately after overseeing the most catastrophic Labour showing in a poll since 1935
Labour’s red wall crumbled last night as the party haemorrhaged support in places seen as safe seats for decades. The map on the left, from 2017, shows a solid red block spreading from North Wales across the north of England and up to the north east. The map on the right, shows a bluer picture, with new Tory seats including Vale of Clwyd and Blyth Valley at either end.
Boris Johnson will embark on a ‘charm offensive’ in Scotland after his faltering popularity in the country gifted the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon (pictured today) a landslide victory
Mr Johnson said the Government would be committed to spreading opportunity across the country.
‘We believe that talent is evenly distributed throughout our country but opportunity is unfairly distributed,’ he told supporters in Tony Blair’s old Sedgefield constituency.
‘We are going to rectify that as a One Nation Conservative government, as a people’s government.’
Mr Johnson has already pledged to unite the country and heal its Brexit division.
Speaking on the steps of No 10 last night after visiting the Queen, the Prime Minister said it was time to bring ‘closure’ to the three-and-a-half years of toxic argument over Britain’s departure from the European Union.
EU membership talk has been killed off for at least TWENTY years admits Remainer ex-Tory Heseltine
Remainers suffered such a heavy defeat in Thursday’s election that the issue of EU membership is dead for 20 years, former Tory minister Michael Heseltine admitted today.
The pro-EU former Cabinet minister, who helped topple Margaret Thatcher in 1990, admitted ‘we’ve lost’ and ‘Brexit is going to happen’ after Boris Johnson’s comprehensive election victory.
Lord Heseltine, who sparked uproar when he switched allegiance to the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats before the election, spoke after Mr Johnson walked away with an 80-seat Tory majority that will allow his to steamroll Brexit laws through Parliament before the end of January.
Asked whether the Remain fight is over on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lord Heseltine said: ‘Well we’ve lost, let’s not muck about with the language. We’ve lost, Brexit is going to happen and we have to live with it.
‘I’ve made my views pretty clear and there will now be a long period of uncertainty, but we can’t escape from that, so we must do the best we can.’
His pledge to ‘Get Brexit Done’ helped him rout Labour in its traditional heartlands in the North and Midlands. The emphatic 80-seat majority was the biggest Tory win since 1987.
Addressing the nation after delivering a political earthquake, Mr Johnson offered an olive branch to Remainers and said the country deserved ‘a break from wrangling, a break from politics, and a permanent break from talking about Brexit’.
Wishing voters a ‘happy Christmas’, he said they could now go about their festive preparations ‘happy and secure’ in the knowledge that the Brexit crisis was being resolved, and that other priorities, such as the NHS, would move centre stage in 2020.
Next year, he said, would be ‘a year of prosperity and growth and hope’, promising a ‘parliament that works for the people’.
Boris Johnson will embark on a ‘charm offensive’ in Scotland after his faltering popularity in the country gifted the SNP a landslide victory.
The Conservatives lost seven of their seats to Nicola Sturgeon in a ‘watershed’ moment that has re-ignited calls for a second independence referendum.
The Prime Minister is said to be ‘determined’ to sort out the situation and is planning to travel north of the border in the hope of winning over sceptical voters.
The SNP took 48 of the country’s 59 Westminster seats in the General Election, with Glasgow turning all yellow for the first time and former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson losing her East Dunbartonshire constituency.
Senior Scottish Conservatives told The Telegraph that Boris contacted them last night to acknowledge the huge challenge the party faces to protect the more than 300-year-old union.
He is also ‘aware’ of the hostile reaction to him personally, and his government’s Brexit agenda in the country.
Following the election result, Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would ‘publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge’.
‘Sorrow has moved on to anger’: Labour MPs and union baron Len McCluskey gun for ‘metropolitan’ Jeremy Corbyn in party civil war after election humiliation as former ‘Red Wall’ MP says voters ‘didn’t trust him’
Labour turned on itself in spectacular fashion today as furious MPs and those forced out in Thursday’s election humiliation demanded the party abandon Jeremy Corbyn’s hard Left views or risk years in the political wilderness.
They tore into Mr Corbyn after he led them to an embarrassing demolition by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in their northern heartlands as the so-called ‘Red Wall’ was knocked down.
Mr Corbyn put a brave face on the situation today as he left his London home, as the party continued to lick its wounds.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell became the latest senior figure to announce they were quitting, telling Sky he would not remain in the shadow cabinet under a new leader.
The political maneuvering over who will be his successor has already begun, with his supporters plotting to oppose more moderate voices and continue their socialist crusade.
Remainer moderates like Emily Thornberry and Sir Keir Starmer are being tipped to face off against loyalists like Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Labour was reduced to a rump of just 203 MPs as it suffered its worst result since 1935, prompting Mr Corbyn to announce he would step down in the new year.
Even union kingpin Len McCluskey, a close confidante of the Labour leader who played a key role in its manifesto, tried to distance himself from the abject mess the party finds itself in this weekend.
It came as Mr Johnson prepared to visit new MPs in some of the northern seats he took off Labour during a victory tour today.
Some areas, such as Bishop Auckland in the North East, had never elected a Tory MP before Thursday.
Anna Turley, who lost her Redcar seat in Cleveland as it voted Tory for the first time ever, said that Mr Corbyn and his hard Left political views had proved poisonous on the doorstep in the working class, Leave-supporting area.
She said that the Labour leader’s politics was raised far more than Brexit during the campaign, saying: ’People didn’t trust him to put our country first. They felt there was a sort of anti-western world view.’
And Dame Margaret Hodge, who retained her Barking seat in London, tore into Mr Corbyn, saying: ‘I have moved from a depression and sorrow (and) now moved to anger because it’s an election we should have won.
‘Our fudge on Brexit was an issue. It was Jeremy’s own leadership that I met time and time on the doorstep, it was the economics we offered, they liked ideas but didn’t believe it, they see us as a nasty party and that comes from anti-Semitism.’
Mr Corbyn (pictured today) last night dismissed calls to step down immediately after overseeing the most catastrophic Labour showing in a poll since 1935
Anna Turley castigated the opposition leader after lost her Redcar seat
Binned: Labour was reduced to a rump of just 203 MPs as it suffered its worst result since 1935, prompting Mr Corbyn (pictured yesterday in Islington) to announce he would step down in the new year
Labour’s tally of MPs was slashed by 59 to just 203 in a staggering night of political drama, putting them in a worse position than after Mr Corbyn’s left-wing hero Michael Foot was put to the sword by Margaret Thatcher in 1983.
Corbyn’s boys praise father after election humiliation
Jeremy Corbyn’s sons have expressed their pride in their father despite him leading the Labour Party to its worst General Election defeat in more than 80 years.
In a message posted on Twitter by Tommy Corbyn with his brothers, Seb and Benjamin, they said defeat ‘hurt’ and they praised his record of a lifetime of campaigning for the ‘less fortunate’.
They said he had paid the price for being ‘honest, humble and good-natured’ in the ‘poisonous world’ of politics, with years of ‘the most despicable attacks filled with hatred’.
As Labour leader, they said that he had produced ‘the most wonderful manifesto this country has ever seen’.
‘He took on an entire establishment. This meant the attacks from all sides intensified and became even more poisonous while he was leader. We’ve never known a politician to be smeared and vilified so much,’ they said.
‘His unbelievably broad shoulders and incredibly thick skin endured all of this so that we could all live in the hope of a world free of racism or hunger. The man led with a strength difficult to quantify.’
Despite the rejection of his vision by voters, they insisted that its time would come.
‘To assume that the ideologies he stands for are now outdated is so wrong. In the coming years we will see that they are more important than ever,’ the said.
They added: ‘From the three proudest sons on the planet, please continue the fight.’
Unite leader Mr McCluskey blamed Labour’s humiliating defeat at the ballot box on Jeremy Corbyn‘s ‘Metropolitan’ manifesto with its ‘incontinent mess’ of policies and a failure to respect the Brexit referendum.
This is despite being a member of the committee which signed it off.
The staunch Corbynite also rounded on moderate Remainer leadership contenders like Sir Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry last night, blaing them for the party’s ‘slow motion’ decision to back a second Brexit referendum.
Mr McCluskey, who heads the UK’s second biggest trade union, also blamed Corbyn’s failure to get to grips with anti-Semitism for their defeat in a blistering article published in the HuffPost.
’Like most elections, this one was not won or lost during the campaign’, he wrote.
‘And it is Labour’s slow-motion collapse into the arms of the People’s Vote movement and others who have never accepted the democratic decision of June 2016 for a single moment which has caused this defeat.
‘As important as it is, too often, Labour addresses the metropolitan wing of its electoral coalition in terms of values – openness, tolerance, human rights – and the ‘traditional’ working-class wing simply in terms of a material offer, as if their constituencies did not have their own values of solidarity and community.’
But Ms Turley laid the blame squarely at the door of Mr Corbyn himself.
Redcar was one of a swathe of normally safe Red Wall Labour seats which fell across the North of England and the Midlands.
She lost despite a majority of almost 10,000 in 2017, handing Tory Jacob Young a majority of more than 3,500.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: ‘His history and his baggage around security and terrorism, whether that was exaggerated or not, the reality is that people didn’t believe he could be trusted with the (nation’s) security or had a world view that would put Britain first and that he could represent us on the global stage, with Trump and Putin at the G7 and he was someone that could lead this country.
Dame Margaret Hodge tore into Mr Corbyn, saying: ‘I have moved from a depression and sorrow now moved to anger because it’s an election we should have won.
Unite leader Len McCluskey, pictured walking out of Broadcasting House in June this year, has blamed Labour’s humiliating defeat on Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Metropolitan’ manifesto that failed to reach traditional voters
‘That was a huge issue for people here.’
Ms Turley added: ‘For me, when you’re getting four doors in a row of lifelong Labour voters saying ”I’m sorry Anna, I’m a lifelong Labour voter, I like what you’ve done, but I just can’t vote for that man to be prime minister”, I’m afraid that’s a fundamental barrier that we just couldn’t get across.’
Ms Turley said that Mr Corbyn was ‘absolutely’ more of a reason than Brexit for her constituents voting for another party, adding: ‘In my constituency, even though it was a 67 per cent Leave constituency, it was four to one the leadership over Brexit.
‘I mean obviously the issues run deeper than that, the Labour Party is bigger than just one person, but the reality is there were issues around our perception around competence.’
Ms Turley added that while Labour’s manifesto had ‘a whole swathe of interesting things’, there were so many that ‘people were overwhelmed by them’ and ‘people just didn’t believe we were the party that could deliver on any of it’.
Mr Corbyn last night dismissed calls to step down immediately after overseeing the most catastrophic Labour showing in a poll since 1935.
Extraordinarily Mr Corbyn – who will have to face Boris Johnson in what promises to be an humiliating PMQs session next Wednesday – also rejected the idea his appalling personal ratings and extreme policies were to blame.
Moderates warned the Tories could be in power for another 20 years unless Mr Corbyn and his supporters are evicted from power.
But left-wingers such as shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon yesterday showed every sign of doubling down on the extreme agenda they tried to sell to the public in the campaign.
And Mr Corbyn said he would remain leader until a contest to replace him is held in the ‘early part of next year’ – in an apparent sign that his clique wants to maintain control of the process.
But Dame Margaret attacked this idea on on BBC Breakfast, adding: ‘I don’t think you can have deep reflection we need to have under a leadership under a person who thinks he worked hard but that the media didn’t like him and the Brexit message was wrong.
‘We have to have a fresh team at the top to undertake really important review on how we reconnect and build trust with voters, that is who we are there to represent.’
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