Evangelicals call for hope after 'historic' general election hands Boris Johnson a comfortable majority

Boris Johnson delivering his victory speech.(Photo: BBC)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to "get Brexit done" after the Conservatives secured a huge majority in the general election on Thursday. 

He said that the election result signalled a "new dawn" after years of division over Brexit. 

"I want to thank the people of this country for turning out to vote in a December election that we didn't want to call but which I think has turned out to be a historic election," he said. 

"The people want change," he said. "We cannot and we must not let them down".

Jeremy Corbyn said he would not lead the Labour Party in another General Election after calling it a "very disappointing night". 

"Brexit has so polarised and divided debate in this country, it has overridden so much of a normal political debate," he said.

"I recognise that has contributed to the results that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country."

It was a dismal night for the Lib Dems, with Jo Swinson stepping down as party leader after losing her own seat in East Dumbartonshire. 

In a speech after her defeat last night, she warned against nationalism and said that "for millions of people in our country these results will bring dread and dismay and people are looking for hope". 

"I still believe that we as a country can be warm and generous, inclusive and open, and that by working together with our nearest neighbours we can achieve so much more," she said. 

"Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for these values that guide our liberal movement: openness, fairness, inclusivity. We will stand up for hope."

Former Lib Dem leader and committed Christian Tim Farron had a better night, holding onto his Westmorland and Lonsdale seat with an increased majority. 

It was a mixed night for other Christian MPs, with Labour MP Stephen Timms retaining his East Ham seat while David Burrowes failed to be re-elected to Enfield Southgate. 

Dominic Grieve, a key Brexit player and a Patron of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, lost his Beaconsfield seat, which he was running for as an independent.  He had represented the constituency for the last 22 years. 

Commenting on his defeat, he said, "Thank you for all the support. We fought the good fight." 

Tweeting on election day yesterday, the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, called for more honesty in politics. 

"Whichever party gets into government today, we must demand of them honesty, integrity and truthfulness. The lying has to stop," he said. 

For some Christians, they decided against voting at all, not so much because of Brexit but because of some of the parties' liberal policies on other issues, including abortion

FIEC church pastor and blogger Stephen Kneale, was one of those.  Explaining his decision on his blog, he wrote: "Why should I lend my vote to people who hold me in utter contempt? Those who call me a racist, a bigot, an idiot – regardless of my reasons or track record of activism – for daring to vote, as I have wanted ever since I got an interest in politics and formed my Bennite tendencies, to leave the EU.

"Why should I vote for parties that not only do nothing for Christian people – despite various of them having been built on the back of chapels and churches – but despise us because we do not share the secular humanistic views of our illiberal overlords?

"Why should I support parties that claim, because I value the life of the unborn, I must hate the born whilst themselves signing the death certificates of babies in utero and then proceding to either preside over, or prop up, the most egregious austerity measures (against which I campaigned) for the most vulnerable people?

"Why should I support anybody whose liberal bias means that markets are ultimately more important than people and the main thing is money uber alles?" 

Despite the continued uncertainty around Brexit, Gavin Calver, CEO of the Evangelical Alliance, has issued an appeal for Christians to be hopeful following the election. 

"I am hopeful for the future of the United Kingdom as we head into 2020. Not because one party has won and another has lost, but because we believe in a God who is powerful," he said. 

"The last few years have exposed deep divisions in our society, and this election campaign has exacerbated these rather than healing them." 

"The task before us all, politicians and public alike, is to work together in our communities and across our nations. I have been reflecting since taking my new leadership role a few months ago on the passion for unity that is at the heart of the Evangelical Alliance, and I think this is one vital way the church can serve the nation in the months and years ahead," he said. 

He ended with a call to Christians to pray for Boris Johnson and all MPs as they return to Parliament. 

CARE (Christian Action Education and Research) has published a prayer to be used following the election: 

Heavenly Father, we commit to You those responsible for counting votes and declaring the results. Amen.

​Holy Spirit, we remember all who have worked so tirelessly and ask that You would give them time to rest. Amen.

​We give You thanks, God, for all You have done in our nation over the last few weeks. We ask that You would equip the new Prime Minister and their Government as they begin their term in office.