UK PM Boris Johnson pledged Saturday to repay the trust of voters in the working-class heartland of northern England who rejected the Labour Party and helped give him an 80-seat majority in Thursday’s election.
Speaking to cheering supporters PM Johnson acknowledged the seismic shift that helped sweep him to victory.
“I know that people may have been breaking the voting habits of generations to vote for us,” he said. “And I want the people of the northeast to know that we in the Conservative Party and I will repay your trust.”
In a victory speech outside 10 Downing Street on Friday, PM Johnson called for an end to the acrimony that has festered throughout the country since the 2016 BREXIT referendum, and urged Britain to “let the healing begin.”
While PM Johnson was on a victory lap, the defeated Jeremy Corbyn was under fire from within his own party, where there was little sign of healing.
Armed with his strong new majority, PM Johnson will start the process next week of pushing BREXIT legislation through Parliament to ensure Britain leaves the EU by the 31 January deadline. Once he has passed that hurdle he will move to seal a trade deal with the Euro bloc by the end of Y 2020.
“We have just been going over the timetable we can definitely get it in before Christmas, and we’re out on January 31,” Mr. Johnson said.
While PM Johnson’s large majority means he has relatively clear air ahead on BREXIT, he faces turbulence over renewed calls for a referendum on Scottish independence following the strong election showing of the Scottish National Party.
The front page of Saturday’s edition of The Scotsman newspaper featured photos of Johnson and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and the headline: “Two landslides One collision course.”
PM Johnson owes his success, in part, to traditionally Labour-voting working-class constituencies in northern England that backed the Conservatives because of the party’s promise to deliver BREXIT.
During the Y 2016 referendum, many of those communities voted to leave the EU because of concerns that immigrants were taking their jobs and alleged neglect by the central government in London.
In Sedgefield Saturday, he paid tribute to his new lawmakers who turned those concerns into a big election victory.
“Thank you for your wonderful achievement in transforming our party, transforming the political map of this country,” he said.