Boris Johnson fails to deny he offered Carrie Symonds top job
Boris Johnson has insisted that he will “keep going” at No 10 despite the Conservative party’s crushing double by-election losses in Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield.
Simon Lightwood won for Labor in Wakefield in West Yorkshire after gaining 13,166 votes to the Conservatives 8,231. Meanwhile, The Liberal Democrats’ Richard Foord won convincingly in Devon gaining 22,537 votes overturning a 24,000 Tory majority.
Mr Foord, the newly-elected MP for Tiverton and Honiton, described his victory as “absolutely staggering.” Meanwhile, Simon Lightwood has said “the next Labor government has been born in this room tonight” after his win in West Yorkshire.
Mr Johnson said he will “listen to what people are saying” following the devastating results.
Following the double loss, Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden offered his resignation saying he was “distressed and disappointed by recent events.”
“Somebody must take responsibility,” Mr Dowden said, adding “we cannot continue with business as usual.”
UK ‘in chaos’ under Boris Johnson, Sir Ed Davey says
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told LBC: “We’ve just had the biggest by-election victory here in Devon.
“No majority of this size has ever been overturned in a by-election, so I’m pretty chipper today.
“We are smiling here and the message from Tiverton and Honiton, the people here in Devon, is that Boris Johnson must go. I think they’ve spoken for the whole of the British people and it really is time he left.”
He added that the country was “in chaos” under Mr Johnson’s leadership and the Conservatives appeared to have no plan.
The Liberal Democrats had fronted a “positive” campaign in the constitution with policies that had “energized” people while the current Government falters, he said.
“I think it speaks on behalf of people – Boris Johnson really must be pushed out,” Sir Ed said.
Thomas Kingsley24 June 2022 07:55
Conservatives ‘sleepwalking to defeat’ in next election, former chief of staff says
Tory peer Lord Barwell, who was Theresa May’s chief of staff in No 10, said if the Conservative Party carries on as it is, it is “sleepwalking to a defeat at the next election”.
He told Sky News he was “very pleased” someone senior in the party seemed to have “finally” recognized this and done something about it, as Oliver Dowden resigned as Tory chairman.
He said Boris Johnson’s authority is “very significantly diminished” and “draining away”.
Lord Barwell said Cabinet ministers have got to ask themselves what it does to their own reputations if they continue to stand by him.
“The evidence is mounting up that he has lost the support of the public that he once had, that it looks extraordinarily unlikely that he’s going to be able to win that back,” he said.
“So, if they allow him to carry on, then they’re going to allow him to lead the Conservative Party to a significant defeat at the next election.”
Thomas Kingsley24 June 2022 07:45
Labor frontbencher rejects electoral pact with Lib Dems
Labour’s shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said the result in Wakefield was “fantastic” – saying a 12 per cent swing in the seat was “what we need to win a general election”.
she told SkyNews: “We still have a long way to go, but this is a really good base camp if we’re going to climb a mountain.”
Rejecting the idea of a formal electoral pact with the Lib Dems, Thornberry said: “The result in Wakefield, if that was the result across the country, there would be no need for any pacts… We just fight this as Labor and we will see .”
Thomas Kingsley24 June 2022 07:40
Boris Johnson to blame for results, says former No 10 pollster
James Johnson, former pollster at No 10, said “there is only one person to blame for the Wakefield result”.
The polling expert said the main reason that swing voters in west Yorkshire chose Labor was “Boris Johnson tried to cover up partygate, and lied to the public”.
Former England and Manchester United footballer Gary Neville said the Tories were on the “brink of collapse.”
“This is what a failing organization looks like. The problem is they’re running our country. Oliver Dowden going is a big one. He knows it’s a sinking ship,” Neville wrote on Twitter.
Thomas Kingsley24 June 2022 07:25
NEW: Boris Johnson responds to Oliver Dowden resignation
Boris Johnson has thanked Oliver Dowden after he resigned as Tory party co-chairman.
Speaking to broadcasters in Kigali, the prime minister: “It’s absolutely true we’ve had some tough by-election results, they’ve been, I think, a reflection of a lot of things, but we’ve got to recognize voters are going through a tough time at the moment.
“I think, as a government, I’ve got to listen to what people are saying, in particular to the difficulties people are facing over the cost of living, which, I think, for most people is the number one issue.
“We’re now facing pressures on the cost of living, we’re seeing spikes in fuel prices, energy costs, food costs – that’s hitting people.
“We’ve got to recognize there is more we’ve got to do and we certainly will, we will keep going, addressing the concerns of people until we get through this patch.”
Thomas Kingsley24 June 2022 07:23
Time for Tories to ‘wake up’, says former No 10 chief of staff
Gavin Barwell, former No 10 chief of staff under Theresa May, said the results should show the Conservatives it is “time to wake up before it is too late”.
“Finally someone in the cabinet says ‘Enough is enough’,” he tweeted on Mr Dowden’s exit. “These by-elections – particularly Tiverton – show the Conservative Party is sleepwalking to defeat at the next election.”
Thomas Kingsley24 June 2022 07:10
Voters have delivered their message on Boris Johnson. The coup is on
Traditionally it was African heads of state that suddenly lost power at home while off globetrotting to international conferences.
Boris Johnson, currently in Rwanda to avoid his own MPs, seems to set to turn convention that on his head.
A coup d’etat feels a little more likely now than it did even a few days ago. Unusually, the party chairman Oliver Dowden, previously shamefully loyal to Johnson, has quit in disgust (arguably before he was escaped and fired).
Read the full Voices piece from Sean O’Grady:
Thomas Kingsley24 June 2022 07:03
‘An honorable letter from an honorable man,’ MPs react to Dowden resignation
Conservative MP Simon Hoare described former party chairman Oliver Dowden described his resignation nation as “an honorable letter from an honorable man.”
Writing on Twitter the North Dorset MP added: “OliverDowden is not to blame for these results. Since 2015 I have always been proud to call Oliver a friend. Never more so than today.”
Conservative MP, Sir Roger Gale who has called for Boris Johnson to step down said: “Oliver Dowden is a decent and honorable man who has clearly decided that he can no longer defend the indefensible.”
Thomas KingsleyJune 24, 2022 06:45
Oliver Dowden resigns as Tory chair after Conservative losses in by-elections
Oliver Dowden has resigned as chairman of the Conservative Party after he suffered two by-election defeats, saying in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “someone must take responsibility”.
Mr Dowden said in his letter to the PM the by-elections “are the latest in a run of very poor results for our party”.
“Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings.
“We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.”
The MP ended his letter by saying: “I want to emphasize that this is a deeply personal decision that I have taken alone.
“I will, as always, remain loyal to the Conservative Party.”
namita singhJune 24, 2022 06:22
‘Voters rejecting PM’, says former No 10 adviser
Former No 10 adviser Tim Montgomerie, creator of the Conservative Home website, said the result in Tiverton was “massive”, adding: “This is a crisis for the Conservative party.”
He told Sky News: “Voters are reacting to the character of the prime minister. They are rejecting the character of the prime minister. And if the Conservative doesn’t act soon… the whole Conservative party will be judged. We cannot let this situation continue.”
namita singhJune 24, 2022 06:12