Boris Johnson insists Tories 'absolutely determined' to rebuild economy after disappointing local election results

Mr Johnson added that voters have sent a “message” to ministers to concentrate on the issues that matter to them

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Boris Johnson said the Government is “absolutely determined” to help people through the “economic aftershocks” of Covid with “every ounce of compassion and ingenuity” after a disappointing set of local election results.

Speaking to broadcasters during a visit to a school in his constituency, the Prime Minister admitted that the UK had “failed to invest sufficiency” in domestic energy security for “decades”.

He said: “We let our nuclear energy completely collapse. We haven’t done enough to put in renewables in the way that we can, put in more wind at the scale and the pace that we can. So that is where we want to go.

“Now, I’m not going to pretend to you… that… there isn’t going to be a difficult period as we come through the aftershocks of Covid. There is.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Sir Keir Starmer’s party further strengthened its grip on London in the local elections
Sir Keir Starmer’s party further strengthened its grip on London in the local elections

“But what I’m going to tell you is that this Government is absolutely determined to keep going with every ounce of compassion and ingenuity that we have, get people through the economic aftershocks, help people with the costs, but make sure that we address the supply side issues, particularly energy, in order for the economy to keep growing.”

Mr Johnson's comments come after he received backlash from local Conservative Party leaders as the Tories lost major London authorities to Labour and suffered setbacks across England.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party further strengthened its grip on the capital, taking the totemic Tory authority in Wandsworth, winning Westminster for the first time since its creation in 1964 and clinching victory in Barnet.

Tory ranks appear divided on who or what is to blame, with many councillors turning on the Mr Johnson over Partygate but ministers saying the result is merely down to "mid-term challenges".

But while the PM agreed that it was a tough night, he decided to point out the positives.

He said: “It is mid-term. It’s certainly a mixed set of results.

“We had a tough night in some parts of the country but on the other hand in other parts of the country you are still seeing Conservatives going forward and making quite remarkable gains in places that haven’t voted Conservative for a long time, if ever.”

Mr Johnson added that voters in local council elections have sent a “message” to ministers to concentrate on the issues that matter to them.

He added: “The big lesson from this is that this is a message from voters that what they want us to do above all – one, two and three – is focus on the big issues that matter to them, taking the country forward, making sure we fix the post-Covid aftershock, get us all through the economic aftershocks in the way we got through Covid, fix the energy supply issues, that’s where the inflationary spike is coming, and keep going with our agenda of high wage, high skill jobs."