Boris Johnson visits Hartlepool after Conservative by-election win and promises 'from jabs to jobs'
'From jabs, jabs, jabs to jobs, jobs, jobs' was the message from Boris Johnson as he celebrated the Tories' historic Hartlepool by-election win.
The Prime Minister met victorious candidate Jill Mortimer at the town’s Marina on Friday afternoon and faced the press to celebrate a stunning success at the polls.
With a giant inflatable 'Boris blimp’ providing the perfect photo shoot background, Mr Johnson said the win was 'a mandate for us to continue to deliver not just for the people of Hartlepool and the people if the North East but across the country.
"The lesson of the campaign and the local election campaign across the country is people want politicians to get on and focus on their needs and their priorities, coming through the pandemic and making sure we build back bigger and better," he said
"This is a place that voted for Brexit, we got Brexit done and then were able to focus on other things thanks to that."
Asked about the role Brexit had played in the vote, Mr Johnson replied: "This is constituency that I think has been in the hands of Labour since its beginnings and I think what this election shows is people want a party and a Government that is focused on them, focused on delivering change."
The PM said the government had a vision of the North East as 'a centre of the green industrial revolution, adding: "Those are the kinds of jobs that not only pay well, they are highly skilled and give you a sense of doing something worthwhile."
And he emphasised the importance of economic recovery as the pandemic recedes: "Number one is continuing the vaccine roll out, making sure we go from jabs, jabs, jabs to jobs, jobs, jobs, making sure we have a strong economic recovery.”
He outlined the thinking behind the Government's plan to 'level up the country: "There is genius and talent and enthusiasm, flair and imagination everywhere in the country, but opportunity is not evenly distributed," he said.
Asked if victory in Hartlepool could be a stepping stone to success in other Brexit-supporting Labour heartlands, such as Sunderland, Mr Johnson was playing it coy: "We are going to work very hard for everyone and we take nothing for granted," he said.