Cardinal Nichols calls for ‘fresh start’ following General Election
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has called for a “fresh start” following the result of yesterday’s General Election.
His call comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to Number 10 with the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
“This result offers a fresh start with some clarity, but it has to be fresh in more ways than politics. A lot of damage has been done over the past few years. It has been toxic, dominated by blame,” said Cardinal Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales.
“We have to put that behind us, look each other in the eye and see the good in the other. As we approach Christmas it is the birth of Christ, the embodiment of God’s goodness, that we celebrate. It is that streak of goodness written in every person that we have to see and rediscover. Concentrating on the good in every person is the fresh start we should seek.”
With all 650 results declared, the Conservatives had a majority of 80 as Labour’s hitherto impregnable ‘red wall’ collapsed, with seats falling across the North and Midlands.
In a victory rally in Westminster, Mr Johnson acknowledged his victory had been made possible by voters who had never before backed the Tories.
He said that he was “humbled” that they had chosen to put their trust in him and vowed not to let them down.
“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,” he said.
“Those people want change. We cannot, must not, must not, let them down. And in delivering change, we must change too.”
The Prime Minister is now expected to reintroduce his Brexit deal in the Commons next week following the Queen’s Speech and State Opening of Parliament on Thursday.
Mr Corbyn, meanwhile, expressed “pride” in Labour’s radical, left wing manifesto despite the party suffering its worst result since 1935.
He blamed the party’s losses on Labour Leave voters turning to the Conservatives or the Brexit Party.
“This election was ultimately taken over by Brexit,” Mr Corbyn said.
“My whole strategy was to reach out beyond the Brexit divide to try and bring people together.”
He said that it would now be for the party’s ruling national executive to set the timetable for a leadership contest, some time in the early part of 2020.
“I am quite prepared, and I was elected to do so, to lead the party until that takes place,” Mr Corbyn said.
Picture: Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a rally with party supporters in Westminster after the Conservative Party was returned to power in the General Election with an increased majority. (Stefan Rousseau/PA).Tags: Boris Johnson, Cardinal, Cardinal Nichols, General Election, Jeremy Corbyn