Wednesday, 29 Jan 2020

Boris Johnson meets Queen at Buckingham Palace after landslide victory

Boris Johnson has met the Queen at Buckingham Palace after his thumping election victory.

He made the short trip in his chauffeur-driven Jaguar from 10 Downing Street to the palace just before 11am.

The PM then made the traditional request to form a government in the Queen's name after gaining nearly 50 seats in an election thrashing.

Mr Johnson was greeted by the Her Majesty's Equerry-in-Waiting, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Richards, and her private secretary, Edward Young, when his ministerial car arrived.

The politician was ushered inside and was led to the Queen's private apartments where, following convention, the head of state asked Mr Johnson whether he would form the next government.

He left the Palace after a meeting which lasted more than 35 minutes. 

Follow our general election results live updates here.

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Mr Johnson's trip to the palace came just hours after he made a triumphant victory speech in Westminster.

He promised not to let down voters whose hands had "quivered over the ballot paper" before backing his Conservative Party for the first time.

"We will get Brexit done on time by the 31st of January, no ifs, no buts, no maybes," he told cheering supporters.

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He continued: "We did it – we pulled it off, didn't we? We broke the gridlock, we ended the deadlock, we smashed the roadblock."

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

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson 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.

But 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 that opposition to leaving the EU is hardening there.

But Tory supporters are unlikely to be worrying about that on Friday after witnessing their party take seat after seat in Labour's heartlands, including some they had never held before.

With most of the 650 seats declared, the PA news agency was predicting a Tory majority of 78.

Following the defeat, Jeremy Corbyn announced: “I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign.

"I will discuss with my party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result.”

He added: “I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”

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Mr Corbyn said the ideas and principles of Labour were “eternal” and “will be there for all time”.

He went on: “This is obviously a very disappointing night. But I want to say this.

“In the election campaign we put forward a manifesto of hope, a manifesto of unity and a manifesto that would help to right the wrongs and injustices and inequalities that exist in this country.”

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