'Stabbed in the back' or 'about time'? Hartlepool residents react after Boris Johnson agrees to resign

There was still much support for outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Hartlepool as he announced his resignation.

Mr Johnson, who visited the town three times last year to boost Jill Mortimer’s by-election campaign, made the announcement on Thursday, July 7, after dozens of his ministers resigned.

It follows mounting pressure after damaging headlines including parties in Downing Street during Covid lockdowns, and accusations of lying, including over his appointment of Chris Pincher amid groping claims.

We spoke to residents and voters as the news was breaking for their thoughts.

Clockwise from top left: David Cranson, Barbara Bain, Fred Robinson, Katie Oliver, and Christine Bartholomew.

Christine Bartholomew, 72, from Foggy Furze, in Hartlepool, who voted Conservative in last year’s by-election, said: “I think it’s shocking the way he’s had to resign.

"He got us through Brexit, he got us through Covid. Yes he had parties but they all just stabbed him in the back I think.

"It’s a shame. Who are we going to get in next?”

Despite the turmoil within the Tory party, Christine said she would vote Conservative again.

Boris Johnson at Jackson's Wharf, Hartlepool following the Conservative's by-election victory to congratulate Jill Mortimer in May last year.

Her friend Barbara Bain, 75, from Throston agreed describing the news as “terrible”.

She said: “I’m shocked. I thought he’s done well but of course a lot of people don’t now.

"All that he’s put up with, Brexit, we’ve just got over that then Covid and now they’re all stabbing him in the back.”

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But Fred Robinson, 73, of Owton Manor, will be pleased to see the back of Boris.

He said: “It’s about time. He should never have got in anyway. There’s been lies even from when he was mayor in London.

"I think he’s self-centred. His life revolves around him and nobody else.”

Katie Oliver, 28, who is studying for a nursing degree, said: “I’m a bit gutted really. I think he’s done the best he can in the situations which he’s come into.

“He took over [from] Theresa May in one of the worst situations and then Covid’s hit so I think what’s happening is quite sad for him.

"I just wonder what’s going to happen next.”

Katie, mum to 18-month-old son Josh, voted for Jill Mortimer last year and said she would still vote Conservative.

David Cranson, 68, of Deaf Hill, Trimdon, said: “I’m quite shocked.

"I suppose let’s hope it is the right decision for the country.”