Cumbrian politicians give their verdict on Boris Johnson's legacy

Boris Johnson speaking at a Tory leadership hustings in Crooklands in 2019. Credit: PA

An announcement will be made next week revealing which of two hopefuls will replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

As his tenure comes to an end, Cumbrian politicians have weighed-in on whether he leaves a positive legacy behind.

Mr Johnson announced in July that he would step down as Prime Minister this week following a leadership race to find his successor.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have since emerged as the final two contenders.

Opinions are divided amongst Cumbrian politicos on whether Mr Johnson leaves a positive legacy behind for the successful candidate.

John Stevenson, Member of Parliament for Carlisle said that Mr Johnson's legacy is "a significant one. He was one of the key architects of Brexit, he then won a sizeable majority in the 2019 election."

Johnson remains popular in some quarters for 'getting Brexit done'. Credit: PA

Mr Stevenson said: "He overall handled the vaccine rollout very well. He was London mayor at a time nobody thought London would vote for a Conservative. I think he's been a major player in the British political scene."

Whether Mr Johnson will remain an MP after handing over the key to Number 10 is up in the air.

But Mr Stevenson said: "I hope he does stay on, I think it's a shame politicians now feel the need to leave Parliament much earlier than they should."

Spokesperson for Carlisle and District Green Party Gavin Hawkton said: "From our perspective, it's been a disaster. I'm not even sure you could call it leadership; trying to prorogue Parliament, lying. Trust in politics is at an all time low, it's been a train wreck.

"He seems to be acting in a presidential role, he doesn't seem to be held accountable for his actions and I think it's such a shame for the Conservative Party to be supporting him all this time.

Johnson was accused of misleading parliament when he said no rules were broken during lockdown parties. Credit: Sue Gray Report/Cabinet Office

"I would say he's damaged democracy, within the Green Party he's very much a disliked figure."

Labour member of the new Cumberland Council Joseph Ghayouba said: "We should be in the middle of building a new nuclear power station (it was shortlisted by Labour in 2009), Moorside securing a generation of jobs and low carbon energy to keep our energy bills down.

"Instead, we have nothing but a country and community in decline due to a decade of austerity, cuts underinvestment, outsourcing, privatisations, a huge transfer of wealth from ordinary people to the very richest people and corporations in our society.

"That's the legacy I'm afraid."

Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister in July 2022. Credit: PA Images

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Borders said: "I firmly believe it was important that the Prime Minister stepped down and I had been calling for a transition in leadership for some considerable time now.

"This was the right and proper thing to do for our country. I very much pay tribute to Mr Johnson's achievements in office, not least overseeing the Covid vaccination rollout, the amazing Government support for people and businesses through the pandemic, leading the UK's support for our friends in beleaguered Ukraine, and driving forward the levelling up agenda.

Dr Hudson added: "Moving forward, I wish Mr Johnson well. This leadership election has made clear that we have a broad range of talent across the Conservative Parliamentary Party.

"The new leader, and Prime Minister, whoever she or he may be, will have my full support. I will continue my focus of representing the people of Penrith and The Border to the best of my ability."

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