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Boris Johnson dealt double blow after Conservatives lose two by-elections

Boris Johnson on Friday suffered a double blow because the Conservatives misplaced two parliamentary by-elections simply weeks after the prime minister survived a vote of no confidence in his management.

In Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, previously represented by Tory Neil Parish who held a 24,239-vote majority, Liberal Democrat Richard Foord defeated the Conservatives’ Helen Hurford by 6,144 votes.

In West Yorkshire, Labour regained Wakefield after Simon Lightwood beat his Conservative rival Nadeem Ahmed. Lightwood obtained 13,166 votes, elevating the social gathering’s share of the vote by greater than Eight share factors in contrast with the 2019 common election. Ahmed, in second place, attracted 8,241 votes because the Tory share of the vote fell by 17 share factors.

The by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton had been triggered by the resignation of disgraced Tory MPs after weeks of unfavorable headlines for the prime minister and his authorities on a spread of points from the “partygate scandal” to the cost of living crisis.

The by-election outcomes prompted the resignation of Oliver Dowden, the Conservative party chair, who stated the Tories couldn’t “stick with it with enterprise as regular”.

“Anyone should take duty and I’ve concluded that, in these circumstances, it will not be proper for me to stay in workplace,” he stated in a letter to Johnson published on Twitter on Friday morning.

The Conservatives gained Wakefield in 2019 for the primary time since 1931. However Imran Ahmad Khan, stepped down as the Tory MP in April yr after he was discovered responsible of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour chief, stated the consequence proved that the “nation has misplaced confidence within the Tories. This result’s a transparent judgment on a Conservative social gathering that has run out of power and concepts.”

Lib Dem chief Sir Ed Davey stated that his social gathering’s win in Tiverton and Honiton should be a “wake-up name” for Tory MPs. “They can not afford to disregard this consequence,” he stated. “The general public is sick of Boris Johnson’s lies and lawbreaking and it’s time for Conservative MPs to lastly do the suitable factor and sack him.”

On Thursday, Johnson dismissed strategies that he ought to step down if the Tories lost both by-elections. “Are you loopy?” the prime minister requested. “Governing events usually don’t win by-elections, notably not in midterm.”

Johnson, who narrowly won a confidence vote amongst Tory MPs by 211 votes to 148 this month, has tried to steer his premiership again on target via a sequence of eye-catching coverage proposals geared toward wooing Tory voters.

However the lack of Tiverton and Honiton, which had been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1997, will stoke larger concern amongst Tory MPs within the south of England scared of a Lib Dem resurgence in “blue wall” seats.

The constituency additionally turned vacant in April when Parish stood down after admitting that he had watched pornography on his cell phone within the Home of Commons chamber.

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