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Tory MP Paul Howell explained while campaigning in the 2019 general election voters told him the former Labour Party Prime Minister did nothing for them. He noted that when the Conservatives won Sedgefield in December it was “symbolic”. The seat had been a Labour hold since 1935.
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Mr Howell said: “It’s symbolic but that’s just because of its history.
“It’s because we had a Prime Minister who was the MP here, as we all know.
“But the number of people whose doors I knocked on that said, ‘yeah he was Prime Minister but he didn’t do owt for us’.
“At one time we have a Labour Cabinet that was basically based in the north east but you can go round the north east and look at the blue wall as it is now.
“Talk to people in those constituencies and they’ll say, ‘we had Milburn, we had Mandelson, we had Blair but they didn’t do owt for us’.”
Voters in Sedgefield have also explained why they wanted Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
One voter said: “I saw lots of cracks in Labour and I thought this is not good.
“I did complain to Labour and they’ve thrown me out.
“I was about to quit anyway but I just don’t agree with Labour politics in this modern day world.
“They’re far too – to me – mediaeval.
“And we really need to think about the people. The problem is your local important people around here who are Labour look after their own towns.
“And I just think that Ferryhill, Bishop Middleham, West Cornforth – all the little villages around here – with a railway line, will really benefit from it.
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“For getting to work and all sorts of things, it’ll just be a brilliant benefit.”
And another: “I don’t feel Labour’s for the working class anymore. So that’s why I decided to change from Red to Blue.”
All week Express.co.uk will bring you exclusive coverage of the Blue Collar Conservatism Conference 2020, an event founded by former minister Esther McVey to listen to the views of grassroots voters in new Conservative seats across the UK.
Express journalists will travel up and down the country with Ms McVey’s team to hear what real people think of the key issues affecting their lives.
Of the event in association with the Daily Express, Ms McVey said: “This is the start of doing the traditional party conferences in a very different way. It is a Party Political Conference first. Travelling the country reaching out and speaking to the public and then getting Cabinet Ministers to reply.”
Tune in at 6.30pm tonight for the big Blue Collar Conservatism debate
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