UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told voters he was “humbled” and vowed to repay their “trust” as his Conservative Party celebrated a landslide victory in the general election.
Speaking at a victory rally in London, the prime minister hailed a “new dawn” and pledged to lead a moderate “one-nation” administration and “work night and day” to earn his new voters’ backing.
It comes as the Conservatives completed the near-destruction of the so-called “red wall” of Labour strongholds in the North and Midlands, with the party on course for a huge 78-seat majority.
“I have a message to all those who voted for us yesterday, especially those who voted for us Conservatives, one nation Conservatives for the first time,” he said, in front of a sign for ‘the people’s government.’
“You may only have lent us your vote and you may not think of yourself as a natural Tory.
“And as I think I said 11 years ago to the people of London when I was elected in what was thought of as a Labour city, your hand may have quivered over the ballot paper as before you put your cross in the Conservative box and you may intend to return to Labour next time round.
“And if that is the case, I am humbled that you have put your trust in me and that you have put your trust in us.”
Johnson said the massive swing away from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the pro-European Union Liberal Democrats was a “powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”
He said: “With this election I think we’ve put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum.”
Johnson said Brexit will get done by January 31 “no ifs, no buts.”
He said: “And I will make it my mission to work night and day, flat out to prove that you were right in voting for me this time, and to earn your support in the future.
“And I say to you that in this election your voice has been heard, and about time too.”
Johnson also said that parliament must change so it is working for the British people.
He said: “In winning this election we have won votes and the trust of people who have never voted Conservative before and people have always voted for other parties. Those people want change. We cannot, must not, must not, let them down.
“And in delivering change we must change too.
“We must recognise the incredible reality that we now speak as a one nation Conservative Party literally for everyone from Woking to Workington, from Kensington I’m proud to say to Clwyd South, from Surrey Heath to Sedgefield, from Wimbledon to Wolverhampton.”
Labour, meanwhile, has been left reeling from its worst election defeat since 1935.
Corbyn said he would discuss with the party how to ensure there was a “process of reflection” after being re-elected in his seat of Islington North.
“I will lead the party during this period to ensure this discussion takes place,” he said.
Among the long-held Labour seats to be taken by the Tories were:
– Rother Valley (a Labour seat since 1918)
– Don Valley (a Labour seat since 1922)
– Wakefield (a Labour seat since 1932)
– Bassetlaw (a Labour seat since 1935)
– Bishop Auckland (a Labour seat since 1935)
– Sedgefield (a Labour seat since 1935)
– Great Grimsby (a Labour seat since 1945)
Even veteran left winger Dennis Skinner, who had been set to become the father of the House, lost his seat of Bolsover, a former mining stronghold which had been Labour since its creation in 1950.