Boris Johnson says Conservative election win ‘gives him powerful new mandate’ on Brexit
Boris Johnson has said the Conservatives' thumping election win has given him a "powerful new mandate" to deliver Brexit.
The Prime Minister said he would lead a "one nation" administration as projections said he was on course to win a majority of around 76 seats.
The victory came at the expense of dozens of Leave-backing seats in traditional Labour heartlands across the Midlands and north of England.
Speaking after he was re-elected as MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip South, Mr Johnson said: “I don’t want to tempt fate, we’re still only dealing with projections, but at this stage it does look as though this one nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.
“And not just get Brexit done but to unite this country and to take it forward and to focus on the priorities of the British people."
He added: "Above all I want to thank the people of this country for turning out to vote in a December election that we didn’t want to call, but which I think has turned out to be a historic election, that gives us now in this new government the chance to respect the democratic will of the British people, to change this country for the better and to unleash the potential of the entire people of this country.
"And that is what we will now do and if we are lucky enough to be returned, as the exit poll seems to suggest, then that work will begin today."
Speaking to BBC News, Chancellor Sajid Javid said: “It is of course incredibly encouraging this evening. I didn’t know what to expect, we went in there fighting for every single vote and I think our approach clearly it looks like it’s paid off.
"Our message has got through, people have rejected utterly the division offered by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and Diane Abbott...they want unity they want this country to move forward, of course they want Brexit done it looks like that is one of the messages from the result and that's great that we can move forward in that way."
Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not lead his party in a future general election, but will stay on as the party decides its future.
“This is obviously a very disappointing election for the Labour party…” he said.
"I will not lead the party in any future election campaign. I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward.”
"And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and that we move on into the future."
Mr Corbyn said while the party’s policies were “extremely popular”, Brexit has dominated the election debate.
"Brexit has so polarised and divided debates in this country. it has overridden so much of a normal political debate, and I recognise that has contributed to the results that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country," he added.
And in a devastating blow to the Liberal Democrats, leader Jo Swinson also lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire to the SNP.