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General election: Boris Johnson thanks new Tory voters for his ‘stonking mandate’ | Politics News

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Boris Johnson has thanked voters in Labour heartlands who voted Tory for the first time to give him his general election victory.

His thank you, within hours of winning a Commons majority of 80, came as he delivered a Christmas pledge to heal the divisions over Brexit.

Speaking in Downing Street, he said: “I frankly urge everyone on either side of what, after three and a half years after all an increasingly arid argument, I urge everyone to find closure and to let the healing begin.”

And after victories in dozens of Labour strongholds such as Tony Blair’s old seat of Sedgefield, Blyth Valley and Dennis Skinner’s constituency of Bolsover, he promised to honour his “overwhelming mandate”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is greeted by staff as he arrives back at 10 Downing Street
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The PM is greeted by staff as he arrives back at Downing Street

“All those whose pencils may have wavered over the ballot and who heard the voices of their parents and their grandparents whispering anxiously in their ears, I say thank you for the trust you have placed in us and in me,” he said.

Earlier, although he told Tory supporters his victory gives him a “stonking mandate”, Mr Johnson did admit some Labour supporters were lending their votes to the Conservatives.

But while the general election result was a triumph for the Tories, for Labour it was a disaster and Jeremy Corbyn has announced he will be gone next year.

And amid the party’s bitter recriminations, the Labour MP defeated by the Tories in Sedgefield said Mr Corbyn’s leadership was a bigger problem than Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
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Many defeated Labour MPs blamed Jeremy Corbyn for the election nightmare

“For @UKLabour leadership to blame Brexit for the result is mendacious nonsense,” Phil Wilson tweeted.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was a bigger problem. To say otherwise is delusional.

“The Party’s leadership went down like a lead balloon on the doorstep. Labour’s leadership needs to take responsibility.”

Despite the Tories’ crushing of Labour in the election, the PM is already on a collision course over a second independence referendum in Scotland with the Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon.



Nicola Sturgeon celebrates Jo Swinson defeat



Nicola Sturgeon celebrates Jo Swinson losing her seat to the SNP candidate

An example of her jubilation at her party winning 48 seats was her extraordinary reaction to the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson’s defeat, captured on Sky News, which was one of the most memorable moments of election night.

Downing Street revealed the prime minister and Scotland’s first minister spoke on the phone and clashed over Ms Sturgeon’s demands for a second referendum.

“The prime minister spoke to first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon earlier this evening, where he reiterated his unwavering commitment to strengthening the union,” said a No. 10 spokesperson.

“On Brexit, the prime minister said that he is now in a position to get this done in a way that allows the whole of the UK to move forward together, providing certainty for Scottish businesses and improving the lives of people right across Scotland.

“The prime minister made clear how he remained opposed to a second independence referendum, standing with the majority of people in Scotland who do not want to return to division and uncertainty. He added how the result of the 2014 referendum was decisive and should be respected.”

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In other phone calls, Mr Johnson also spoke to German chancellor Angela Merkel, Ireland’s prime minister Leo Varadkar and the first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford.

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