Boris Johnson was elected on a mandate to deliver Brexit, but he also exemplifies the grand
realignment that took place not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the Western world. A
new politics, which included turning back to the values and interests of the ordinary people in our
country, the forgotten communities, and those who Westminster and politics disenfranchised. The
manifesto, the optimism and the drive that gave us the largest majority since Mrs Thatcher’s
victories in the 1980s could have been utilised to pass legislation unthinkable when Theresa May
was in power, but sadly, that time seems over.

Whatever pundits spout, ministers state or Twitter believes, this result is the start of the end of Boris
Johnson. His leadership is no longer commanded by enough of his own party, let alone the country,
but the policies that he stood for need to continue. Brexit was much more than immigration, the
jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, or liberalising our trade with allies and friends we left
behind – it was about delivering for those that politicians, of all colours, had ignored.

The slogan ‘levelling up’ is cliché and has lost its meaning as a force for good, but behind the words
is an opportunity to achieve something more significant. Not only does it mean more funding for
hospitals, schools, and things that are tangible to everyday life, but it means ensuring that wherever
you are born, wherever you find yourself, you will be given the chance and the opportunity to
succeed in life. It also means unlocking the potential of communities, near where I live, like
Manchester and Liverpool or towns in the Northeast like Redcar and Hartlepool. The appeal of the
man may have disappeared, but support for his message has not.

We have always been a party that changes to fit the public mood. We understand our core beliefs,
but we recognise them to win support in the country. Whatever my personal political opinions are,
this nation is now one that believes in more economic intervention and a conservative social
outlook. Some people call this being a red Tory, others, leading in the light of Disraeli, but it is a
change from the days of Thatcher and even Cameron that we must embrace into the future,
whoever succeeds Boris.

We have always been viewed as the party of the South. We have always been told that the South is
loyal to us, but in recent years, we have seen that that is not the case. They are as tribal as the rest
of our nation, but we must take the moral stand, the right stand, and invest in those areas that have
been ignored and gain their trust for the future. If we do not utilise our majority to deliver on
contentious issues, we may as well have remained a minority government, propped up by the DUP.

However people seek to put a cloak on it; we are about to enter a depression. I did not think it was
right to change leader, but it seems inevitable. If we do, we need to continue the message of
levelling up, investing in the North, helping forgotten communities and ensuring that we are not a
party that wholly cares about winning at the ballot box; but cares about delivery for people in their
day-to-day lives. Whoever is next in Number 10 must continue this message, or our slither of hope in
2024 will be non-existent.