With the news of Boris Johnson’s surprise visit to Sunderland’s Glass Centre, protestors gathered outside to voice their displeasure with the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union.
Leading the protests was Sunderland University’s chaplain, Chris Howson. In an exclusive interview with SR News, he outlined his displeasure with the Prime Minister’s visit. This included the impact his party’s policies have had, and will continue to have on both Sunderland and the North East as a whole.
When asked why he thinks that Brexit will be so detrimental to the region, Howson said:
“The Tory party has devastated Sunderland with the various cuts they have made, so I don’t feel like he should come here… I mean, they’re having a meeting in the Glass Centre, which was funded by the European Union, next to our university which is heavily funded by the EU. It’s a bit sad that he’s come to almost rub our noses in it.”
Before Johnson’s arrival, a fellow protestor who asked us not to reveal their identity, said:
“I think that Johnson thinks that the people up here are all the same, that we’re all racist and just looking for any way to get out of the EU. Him and [Nigel] Farrage love to come up to this part of the country to get their photographs taken, almost as if to say ‘Look at all the support we have in the North East’.”
Howson also expressed his disappointment at the short notice of the event, and how that would affect the group’s efforts:
“Hardly anyone was aware that Boris Johnson was coming – they only saw it on the news this morning. Lots of people are pro-Brexit but very anti-Boris Johnson. We don’t need Etonians telling us what we need to do here in Sunderland. I’m not expecting many people today. Maybe if we were given more notice there could’ve been masses here.”
Written by Ben Robinson, Keiron Ringwood & Jonathan Eddom