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PA
UK News

General Election results: Christian politicians respond

The Prime Minister was set to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace with a comfortable majority after gambling on a snap election and winning big.

In his victory speech after retaining his own seat, he claimed a "powerful new mandate to get Brexit done" as his party headed for its biggest Commons majority since the Thatcher era.

Mr Johnson later told jubilant aides in Conservative HQ: "We must understand now what an earthquake we have created.

"The way in which we have changed the political map of this country.

"We have to grapple with the consequences of that, we have to change our own party, we have to rise to the level of events, we must, we just answer the challenge that the British people have given us."

The Tory landslide prompted Jeremy Corbyn to announce he will not lead Labour into another election after his party suffered humiliation.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson also lost her seat to the SNP and quit as party leader. Sir Ed Davey and Baroness Sal Brinton will become joint acting leaders ahead of a leadership contest next year.

The success of the Scottish nationalists and of nationalist parties in Northern Ireland could provide Mr Johnson with another challenge on top of Brexit as it suggests opposition to leaving the EU is hardening there.

Christian politicians have been giving Premier their verdict on the results:

Gary Streeter - Conservative MP for South West Devon

"It's been one of those historic political nights when lots of things have changed.

"There'll be lots of new Conservative MPs and hopefully we will, with our new majority, be able to implement the policies we've been offering for some time now to get Brexit done and start focusing on domestic policies which are about investing in our country, the infrastructure, schools, hospitals, police to make our country the greatest place in the world to live, to work and have a family.

Rachael Maskell - Labour MP for York Central

"I'm obviously heartbroken by the national picture. We have to have a proper analysis as to what happened at the General Election and why we saw change.

"Labour's agenda really was about transforming our society, tackling inequality and addressing the real issues that impact on people. It would very much fit in with many Labour manifestos through the years.

"I do believe we've got a form of populism cutting across politics, not just here in the UK, but we're seeing it in the States, in India. We've got to understand what is actually happening. And this isn't just about policy, it's about the way things are being communicated, about who holds the power across the media, and what politics is for."

Dr Lisa Cameron – SNP MP for East Kilbride

"There was excellent work by the First Minister and getting that message across Scotland during the campaign.

"I also think that Scotland wanted to send the message to Boris Johnson that our voice must be heard and to listen to the needs of the Scottish people and to prioritise Scotland as well.

"'There's lots of cross party consensual work that can be done and can be done in any government. And I would like to think that MPs from all backgrounds will come together and on the issues that count for people where there is consensus and work together to make that happen."

Michael Beckett, Lib Dem candidate for Harwich & N. Essex

"I feared that they [Conservatives] would do well, because it's quite a simple thing to say 'Get Brexit done'. It takes ten years to negotiate one international trade treaty, and they've got hundreds now to negotiate. The speed and the competence of their current negotiation team means that 15 to 20 years is probably what we're looking at.

"My prayer is that people will look after each other, care for each other, and if this is going to produce additional suffering, that they take responsibility for their neighbour."

Jim Shannon DUP MP for Strangford

"Sometimes we have to take the situation as it is, where it is not as we wish it to be.

"I think we have to work with what we have with muscle on the table. So clearly, we're trying to use our influence on Boris and the cabinet in relation to the [Brexit] agreement that's there.

"The focus of influence of power is shifting if he goes forward with the agreement as it is, so it's going to be a hard time. I realised that the best way of dealing with these things is as to very clearly leave it in the hands of the our Lord and Saviour because he's a person who overrules, guides, and tell us what to do and we have to accept what has happened as his will at this time."

(Additional reporting from Press Association)

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