NEWS BORIS POLLS UK
LONDON: The Conservative party’s win in the Parliament polls in the United Kingdom, trouncing its rivals in as many as 365 constituencies, gives Prime Minister Boris Johnson an image boost, a continuation in power, and freedom to lead Britain out of the European Union as per a popular mandate this week. Indians in the UK has reason to cheer too.
The results saw the Conservatives winning 67 more seats compared to their win in 298 constituencies in the 2017 elections. The Labour led by Leftist Jeremy Corbyn saw their number of seats reducing to 203, down 59 from the previous strength. Notably, the results boosted the spirits of the Indian diaspora. The strength of the Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) in Parliament rose from 11 to 15 – with all the 11 being re-elected in the polls and four new PIOs entering the house.
The election was called prematurely by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for December. In doing so, the PM took a calculated risk, but the election was also indirectly meant to be a fresh referendum on Brexit. The results showed the people overwhelmingly voted in favour of Johnson’s plea for a yes (Leave from EU) vote.
By contrast, the Labour led by Corbyn offered people pensions and free bus rides, among other welfare goodies, but the people ignored such lures and voted decisively for Boris Johnson and his Brexit plan. He will now, with increased strength in the House of Commons, be able to course through the Brexit procedures, which should be completed by January 31, 2020 – the deadline for Briton’s exit from European Union as per present schedule.
The support for Conservatives was overwhelming – the sweetest win since the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher as Tory PM led the nation. For the Labour, this was the worst-ever defeat and dwindling of parliament strength.
Notably, while Indians generally backed Boris Johnson, Pakistanis backed Labour and Corbyn. This, mainly as the Labour moved a motion in Parliament in sympathy with the “plight” of the Kashmiri population in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in August last. Boris Johnson, by contrast, stood by Modi and his decisions on Kashmir.
Boris Johnson met Queen Elizabeth II and sought permission to form the next government –a continuation of his present one. Jeremy Corbin, on his part, resigned from the Labour party leader post, owning up moral responsibility for the party’s defeat.
Conservatives are at the helm since 2010, before which Labour ruled UK for 13 years – the first ten years by popular leader Tony Blair and later by Gordon Brown from 2007 to 2010. Conservative nominee David Cameron took power as PM in 2010 and ruled for six years, followed by Theresa May, also Conservative, from 2016 to 2019. Boris Johnson held the reins from 2019 July following a leadership change.
When Johnson took charge as Prime Minister after his appointment as PM by Queen Elizabeth II on July 24 this year, he had said he would take his country out of the EU by October. Then, on September 3, he announced plans to call for parliament polls. Parliament was dissolved in October and election called for December 12. As it turned out, the polls gave the Conservatives the largest majority in Parliament since 1987.
WHO IS BORIS JOHNSON
Boris Johnson was born in New York City, of English parents. He holds US-UK dual citizenship. A journalist and editor for several years, having worked with The Time, Daily Telegraph, The Spectator etc, he is a controversial figure as a politician, and landed in several scandals. He also allegedly had several sexual liaisons and affairs in the past, none of which however stood in the way of his rise in politics and public life.
Boris Johnson was Member of Parliament since 2001. He represented Henley from 2001 to 2008. He served as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016. From year 2016 to 2018, he was Foreign Secretary under then prime minister Teresa May. He quit the post following differences with her. In 2019 May, when Teresa May decided to quit prematurely, Borin Johnson was the Conservatives’ pick as her successor. — IHN-NN
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