Portsmouth area Conservative MPs insist Boris Johnson has 'fresh vision'

CONSERVATIVE politicians in the area have backed the new Tory leader Boris Johnson as he is set to become prime minister.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 3:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 10:28 am

Mr Johnson has vowed to carry out a ‘do or die’ Brexit by October 31 as well as promising to deliver better education, better infrastructure, more police and full-fibre broadband in every household.

Fareham MP Suella Braverman, who backed Mr Johnson, said she was delighted, and added: ‘The UK needs a fresh vision and a reinvigorated and firmer Brexit approach, and Boris will bring that.

‘It's vital that all Conservative MPs now come together around their new leader - who has been elected by the grassroots membership - to ensure that Brexit is delivered.’

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Boris Johnson arrives at Conservative party HQ in Westminster. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Despite publicly backing Mr Hunt in his campaign to get into Number 10, Portsmouth North MP and defence secretary Penny Mordaunt, and Havant MP Alan Mak have now shown their support for Mr Johnson.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘We have a huge responsibility to get Brexit over the line and secure the opportunities that come from leaving the EU.

‘They only way we can achieve this is by coming together, as a party and as a country. I did not campaign for Boris but he has my full support and I will work my hardest to deliver for him, Portsmouth and the country.’

Mr Mak said: ‘The whole Conservative party and the wider country now need to unite behind Boris as our new Prime Minister to deliver Brexit and our domestic priorities.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘Today’s convincing win by Boris Johnson provides the opportunity to regroup and redouble our focus on delivering Brexit and then moving beyond it.

‘Over the days and weeks ahead as the new government takes shape I look forward to hearing further plans.’

But Portsmouth South and Labour MP Stephen Morgan said Mr Johnson was ‘out of touch’ with the issues facing people in Portsmouth.

He said: ‘0.2 per cent of the population voted to make Boris Johnson PM. It’s embarrassing for the Tory party that he was the best they could do as he is so out of touch with the realities facing people in Portsmouth.

‘He has helped drive through the Tories’ brutal cuts to services in our city all rely on and is risking local people’s jobs by pushing a reckless no deal, that won’t affect him.

‘His first announcement was to give the wealthiest in society tax breaks, giving himself a £3,000 tax break.

‘After almost a decade of austerity, we need a Prime Minister who will prioritise Portsmouth and be on the side of the many, not the few.’

The former foreign secretary won 92,153 votes in the leadership ballot, taking 66 per cent of the vote while health secretary Jeremy Hunt got 46,656 votes.

In his victory speech, Mr Johnson said: ‘I know that some wag has already pointed out that deliver, unite and defeat was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign, since unfortunately it spells dud - but they forgot the final 'e' my friends, 'e' for energise.

‘And I say to all the doubters, dude, we are going to energise the country.

‘We are going to get Brexit done on October 31.’

Portsmouth South MP, Labour’s Stephen Morgan, has been approached for comment.