Boris Johnson’s PM sinks into crisis as defeat in two by-elections triggers Oliver Dowden’s resignation


Ors Johnson’s prime minister was plunged into a full-blown crisis on Friday as defeats in two by-elections led to the resignation of the Tory chairman.

In a barely resignation letter, Oliver Dowden insisted that “someone should take responsibility” for the loss of Wakefield in the “Red Wall” at the hands of Labor, and for the former Conservative stronghold Liberal Democrats in Devon, Turton and Huntington. ۔

Electoral experts say the dramatic swing of nearly 30 percent from the Tories to Lab Dams on the Western Country seat was the Conservatives’ worst performance since World War II in terms of percentage of majority defeats.

Clearly, Mr Dowden insisted he was “loyal to the Conservative Party” – not promising to continue supporting the prime minister.

He added that his resignation was a “deep personal decision that I have made alone.”

Westminster, however, was on the tender hooks to see if other cabinet ministers would now resign in an attempt to overthrow Mr Johnson.

At least one cabinet minister and about five other ministers voted against Mr Johnson in a vote of confidence earlier this month, winning 148 to 211.

So far, however, the cabinet has remained loyal and has shown no sign of moving against it.

The first sign of Mr Johnson’s broader position in his cabinet will be who agrees to stand up for Mr Dowden for Friday morning’s media round, which is traditionally held by party chairs after the election. Goes

Mr Johnson, who is chairing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda, suggested that it would be “crazy” for him to leave No. 10 if the party loses two seats. But they are not easy for any government. “

The Tiorton and Hanniton by-elections began after the resignation of Tory MP Neil Parish when he was caught watching pornography in the Commons.

The Liberal Democrats defeated the 24,000 Tory majority by a majority of 6,144.

Wakefield’s new MP Simon Lightwood says Labor is ‘rebuilding the red wall’

/ PA Wire

At Wakefield, Simon Lightwood was elected from Tories to Labor with a majority of 4,925, swinging 12.7%.

Former Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan has resigned after being found guilty of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy – a crime for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Both elections were the first time voters had decided on the prime minister and the parties, with 41 percent of their own MPs voting against them in a vote of confidence and after the party gate scandal.

Mr Dowden said in a letter to the prime minister that the by-elections were “the latest in a long line of bad results for our party”.

“Our supporters are upset and disappointed by the recent events and I express their feelings,” he said.

“We can’t do business as usual. Someone has to take responsibility and I have come to the conclusion that it would not be right for me to remain in office under these circumstances.

The MP concluded his letter by stating: “I want to emphasize that this is a very personal decision that I have made alone.

As always, I will remain loyal to the Conservative Party.

Being out of the country at the Commonwealth Summit in Rwanda makes it difficult for the Prime Minister and his team to gain a firm grip on the situation.

So far, however, he has vowed to resist any attempt to force him out.

Some Tory MPs, who have been critical of the prime minister, have been quick to back Mr Dowden.

Simon Hoyer, chairman of the Commons Northern Ireland Committee, tweeted: “A letter from a respected man.

“LiOliverDowden is not responsible for these results. I have always been proud to call Oliver a friend since 2015. Never more than today.”

Guildford MP Angela Richardson said: “Oliver is a great partner and he is certainly not responsible for these results.”

Sir Roger Gail, MP for North Thanet, tweeted: “Oliver Dowden is a decent and respectable man who has made it clear that he can no longer defend the defenseless.”

However, the prime minister has so far maintained the confidence of many Tory MPs, especially in the Midlands and North.

Tory party rules mean that another vote of confidence cannot be taken until after one year.

However, Mr Johnson’s prime ministership will still be in jeopardy if other cabinet ministers walk out or senior MPs from the 1922 Committee of Back Bench MPs move against him.

Richard Ford speaks after winning the by-election.

/ Reuters

In Tiverton and Honiton, Richard Ford, the new Lib-Dem MP used his acceptance speech to urge Mr Johnson to “go, and go now”, claiming that his victory “in British politics”. A shock has been sent. “

He said: “The people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for the UK. They have sent a loud and clear message.

“Boris Johnson clings to the office every day, bringing more embarrassment, chaos and neglect.”

“Now is the time for Conservative MPs to do the right thing and get fired,” said Sir Ed Dewey, leader of the Lib Dam.

A Tory source said: “This is not a disappointing but unexpected result” and “we are confident we will win this seat again in the next general election”.

Wakefield was one of the so-called Red Wall seats the Tories won in the 2019 general election after being in labor since the 1930s.

New Labor MP Simon Lightwood said: “The people of Wakefield have spoken on behalf of the British people.

“He said for no reason: Boris Johnson, your insult to this country will no longer be tolerated.”

Labor leader Sir Kerr Starmer said: “Wakefield has shown that the country has lost confidence in the Tories.”