Boris Johnson wants UK to begin 'healing' after election win

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the country deserves "a permanent break from talking...

17.32 13 Dec 2019

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Boris Johnson wants UK to begi...

Boris Johnson wants UK to begin 'healing' after election win


17.32 13 Dec 2019

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The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the country deserves "a permanent break from talking about Brexit" in his first speech since retaining the keys to Number 10.

Mr Johnson was speaking outside Downing Street this afternoon after the Conservative party secured their biggest majority since the 1980s.

The party won 365 seats in yesterday's General Election which gives the Tories a majority of 80 in the House of Commons.


Mr Johnson said that while he received an "overwhelming mandate" from the election to "get Brexit done", he wants the country to begin "healing" after a divisive campaign.

He said the UK "deserves a break from wrangling, a break from politics and a permanent break from talking about Brexit".

He then pledged to get Brexit done by January 31 after he was reported telling staff at party headquarters that "no one can now refute" his "stonking mandate" to deliver Brexit.

His speech came after he was officially confirmed as Prime Minister after a visit to Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace this morning

Mr Johnson said: "I want everyone to go about their Christmas preparations happy and secure in the knowledge that here in this people's government the work is now being stepped up to make 2020 a year of prosperity, hope and growth, and to deliver a parliament that works for the people.

"I urge everyone to find closure and let the healing begin.

Meanwhile, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was "very sad" following his party's poor performance in the election.

Labour won 203 seats, down from 262 on the previous election and its worst performance since 1935.

He said he will not lead the party in any future general election campaign but will step down following a "period of reflection".

He said the "responsible thing to do is not to walk away" and he would stay in post "until there has been someone elected to succeed me" which should be in the "early part of next year".

Mr Corbyn also said he did everything he could to lead the party and claimed the result would not have been any different under a more centrist leader.

There was also bad news for the Liberal Democrats as their leader is to step down after losing her seat.

Jo Swinson lost her position as MP for Dunbartonshire East in Scotland to the SNP's Amy Callaghan by just 149 votes.

Ms Swinson said she was "devastated" but didn't regret her party's campaign on Brexit as being  the "unapologetic voice of Remain".

The Liberal Democart party won 11 seats in this year's election, one less than in 2017.

In Northern Ireland, the number of Nationalist MPs in Westminster will exceed Unionists for the first time following yesterday's vote.

Final results showed the DUP, who had been in a confidence and supply arrangement with the Conservatives, losing two seats.

Their losses included deputy leader Nigel Dodd's seat in North Belfast going to Sinn Féin's John Finucane.

Sinn Féin retains seven seats - losing their Foyle seat but gaining North Belfast - while the SDLP went from no seats in the House of Commons to two.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney urged the two main parties in Northern Ireland to work together to ensure that direct rule does not return to the country in the new year.

Responding to the results, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar congratulated Boris Johnson and said he was relieved for Ireland and the UK.

He told reporters today: "I deeply regret that the United Kingdom, our friends, are leaving the European Union: but that's their decision, and they've confirmed that now with this election."

Additional reporting by IRN

Main image: Boris Johnson speaking outside 10 Downing Street in London this afternoon. Photo: Han Yan/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

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