‘I will repay your trust,’ UK PM Johnson tells ex-Labour voters on trip to north

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street after visiting Buckingham Palace where he was given permission to form the next government during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II on December 13, 2019 in London, England. The Conservative Party have realised a decisive win in the UK General Election. With one seat left to declare they have won 364 of the 650 seats available. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the first UK winter election for nearly a century in an attempt to gain a working majority to break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit. working majority to break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit. He said at an early morning press conference that he would repay the trust of voters. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited former strongholds of his Labour opponents in northern England on Saturday and pledged to repay their trust for helping to deliver a stunning victory for his Conservative Party in Britain’s national election.

Johnson led the Conservatives on Thursday to their biggest election win since Margaret Thatcher’s landslide victory of 1987, trouncing his socialist Labour Party opponent Jeremy Corbyn by winning 365 parliamentary seats and securing an overall majority of 80. Labour won 203 seats.

The election saw the crumbling of Labour’s “Red Wall” of formerly safe seats in working class areas across northern and central England where most people voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union.

Johnson, the face of the “Leave” campaign in that referendum, fought the election on the slogan “Get Brexit done”.

“I know that people may have been breaking the voting habits of generations to vote for us,” Johnson told supporters in Sedgefield, a symbolically important seat as it was once held by former prime minister Tony Blair, Labour’s most successful leader.

“I want the people of the north east to know that we in the Conservative Party, and I, will repay your trust.”

Brexit was widely seen as the decisive factor in the election, with Johnson’s promise to take Britain out of the EU by Jan. 31, 2020, winning over many former Labour voters.FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured after delivering a statement at Downing Street after winning the general election, in London, Britain, December 13, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

“What an incredible thing you have done, you have changed the political landscape, you’ve changed the Conservative Party for the better and you’ve changed the future of our country for the better,” said Johnson.

“First of all, what are we going to do to repay that trust? We are going to get Brexit done.”

Johnson, who called the snap election to break years of deadlock in parliament over Brexit, has also promised to spend more money on health, education and the police.


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