Boris Johnson has paid a visit to one of the most symbolic constituencies of his landslide election victory to thank voters for putting their trust in him.
The prime minister held a victory rally in Sedgefield, Co Durham – for so long the seat held by former Labour leader Tony Blair – to praise people for “perhaps breaking the voting habits of generations” to put their cross down next to the Conservatives.
He promised voters that his government would be “servants not masters” of the people who put them in power.
“And I want the people of the North East to know that we in the Conservative Party and I will repay your trust – and everything that we do, everything that I do as your Prime Minister, will be devoted to repaying that trust,” he said
“And first of all what are we going to do? We’re going to get Brexit done.”
He said there was much more than just Brexit – including improving “our fantastic National Health Service”.
Mr Johnson saw a surge in support among the former Labour heartlands, much of it apparently driven by frustration with the delay to deliver on the Brexit referendum.
The prime minister made reference on the steps of Downing Street to the fact he was conscious many people had “loaned” him their vote.
And on Saturday, he was again at pains to point out that he recognised he needed to repay that faith.
“We not the masters, we are the servants now, and our job is to serve the people of this country and to deliver on our priorities – and our priorities and their priorities are the same,” he said.
Mr Johnson said the Government would be committed to spreading opportunity across the country.
“We believe that talent is evenly distributed throughout our country but opportunity is unfairly distributed,” he told supporters.
“We are going to rectify that as a One Nation Conservative government, as a people’s government.”
He added: “We are going to recover our national self-confidence, our mojo, our self-belief and we are going to do things differently and better as a country.
“It is going to be a wonderful, wonderful time for our country. Our country will stand tall in the world.”