Boris Johnson visits Conservative voters in Sedgefield as North East MPs blame Corbyn for Labour’s General Election loss

The Prime Minister has paid a symbolic visit to Sedgefield, County Durham after it fell to the Tories in the General Election.

Saturday, 14th December 2019, 3:28 pm

Boris Johnson visited Tony Blair’s old constituency of Sedgefield on Saturday, December 14 as he vowed to repay the trust of former Labour supporters, whose votes helped deliver him victory this week.

Sedgefield was one of a swathe of seats across the North East - which formed part of Labour’s previously impregnable "red wall” - to go blue as the Tories won with an 80-seat majority.

In a speech to supporters and newly-elected MPs at Sedgefield Cricket Club, Mr Johnson said: "We believe that talent is evenly distributed throughout our country, but opportunity is unfairly distributed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a visit to Sedgefield Cricket Club in County Durham.  Photo credit: Lindsey Parnaby/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a visit to Sedgefield Cricket Club in County Durham. Photo credit: Lindsey Parnaby/PA Wire

"We are going to rectify that as a One Nation Conservative government, as a people's government, that is what we are going to do."

He also acknowledged how difficult it was for many lifelong Labour supporters to cast their votes for the Tories.

“I know that people may have been breaking the voting habits of generations to vote for us," he added.

"And I want the people of the North East to know that we in the Conservative Party, and I, will repay your trust - and everything that we do, everything that I do as your Prime Minister, will be devoted to repaying that trust."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a visit to Sedgefield Cricket Club in County Durham. Photo credit: Lindsey Parnaby/PA Wire

Meanwhile former Labour MPs in the region have blamed Jermery Corbyn for the party’s loss.

Former MP for Bishop Auckland Helen Goodman, who lost the seat which she has held since 2005, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "The biggest factor was obviously the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

"The fact of the matter is that Jeremy Corbyn failed as a communicator, whatever his good personal qualities.”

Ex-Darlington MP, Jenny Chapman blamed the loss on Labour’s focus on "fairly well-off people", while Anna Turley, who lost her seat in Redcar, described Mr Corbyn's leadership as "a fundamental barrier that we just couldn't get across".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) pulls a pint with newly elected Conservative party MP for Sedgefield, Paul Howell. Photo credit: Lindsey Parnaby/PA Wire

She added that Mr Corbyn was "absolutely" more of a reason than Brexit for her constituents choosing to vote for another party and that previously Labour voters on the doorsteps "didn't trust him to put our country first.”