NEW Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged his support for 'forgotten' seaside communities - such as those in Dorset - on his first day in the job.

After Mr Johnson made his first speech as PM in the House of Commons on Wednesday, South Dorset MP Richard Drax asked the UK's new leader to 'focus on the future of seaside towns'.

He said: "I welcome my Right Honourable Friend to his post; I so welcome his enthusiasm.

"Would he come down to our seaside towns, which desperately need love and investment? He would be most welcome to come personally. May I ask him to keep a focus on the future of seaside towns and the vital role they play in our communities?"

Mr Johnson said Mr Drax was "totally right" to focus on seaside towns and coastal communities because they "too often they have been forgotten."

He replied: "This new government’s programme is to unite this country with infrastructure, better education and technology to bring opportunity not just to cities around the country, but to rural and coastal communities as well."

Mr Drax welcomed the PM's response, and his "understanding of the very particular problems facing our coastal communities."

He continued: "They are indeed often left behind, lacking resources and input. Good transport links, adequate infrastructure and increased inward investment will make them shine as they should.

"As soon as the Prime Minister is able to visit, I will gladly welcome him to South Dorset to see for himself what is needed."

As previously reported, Weymouth and Portland remains one of the most deprived areas in the country with low wages, poor social mobility and high levels of child poverty.

At a recent meeting of Dorset Council, a motion calling for immediate action to tackle the problems in the area was passed. Councillors said that with the right leadership and partnership, working standards in the borough could be dramatically improved.

Weymouth was used as an example of an area in decline during a debate in the House of Lords about the findings of a report which revealed the shocking extent of poverty and decline beside the sea.