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Double by-election humiliation the ‘decisive blow’ against Boris Johnson, senior Welsh Labour MP says

24 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a speech at a Business Forum during the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. Picture by Dan Kitwood / PA Wire

The double by-election humiliation suffered by Boris Johnson overnight was the “decisive blow” against his premiership, a senior Welsh Labour MP has said.

Boris Johnson has said he will “listen” to voters but will “keep going” after losing Tory stronghold of Tiverton and Honiton to the Lib Dems as well as surrendering Wakefield to Labour.

But the defeats were swiftly followed by the resignation of previously loyal Conservative Party Chair Oliver Dowden, saying in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “someone must take responsibility”.

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant who has been vocal in calling for Conservatives to ditch the Prime Minister over scandals such as partygate concluded that he was now on his way out.

“Politics rarely delivers unequivocal moments. Yesterday was one such,” Chris Bryant said.

“Labour achieved a much bigger swing in Wakefield than even we thought possible and the Tories were still briefing they might win in Tiverton yesterday morning.

“Voters dealt Johnson a decisive blow.”

‘Facing pressures’

In the rural Devon constituency of Tiverton and Honiton, the Liberal Democrats overturned a 24,000 Tory majority to win, while Labour reclaimed Wakefield.

Mr Johnson, speaking to broadcasters in Rwanda, said he would take responsibility, but stressed the cost-of-living crisis was the most important thing for voters, saying it is “true that in mid-term governments post-war lose by-elections”.

“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 recognise voters are going through a tough time at the moment,” he said at a conference centre in Kigali.

“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 recognise 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.”

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Mr Johnson insisted: “I, of course, take responsibility for the electoral performance of the Government.”

Oliver Dowden, who was due to represent the UK Government on the media on Friday morning, 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,” he said.

“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.”

He added: “I want to emphasise that this is a deeply personal decision that I have taken alone.

“I will, as always, remain loyal to the Conservative Party.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
5 months ago

Lets make sure that there are no Tory MPs in Cymru….and then do likewise in the Senedd ….

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

I yearn for the nineties/early noughtiies when the political map of Wales was red and green spoiled (or soiled) only by a dot or two of blue.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
5 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

1997 General Election: 0 Tory MPs (Ditto for Scotland)
2001 General Election: 0 Tory MPs (1 in Scotland)

Dafydd
Dafydd
5 months ago

Im torn, equally want to see the idiot go now yet it has to be recognised that he’s a great election asset for other parties……

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
5 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

A great recruiter for Welsh Inedpendence too

andrew r north
andrew r north
5 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Let him stay i think. Then the party of privelige will be annihallated in the next general election, as they deserve.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
5 months ago

To get Johnson out the double blow would have to be with a literal hammer. He has not shame, he has no honour. They will have to peel his bleeding fingers from the splintering door jambs of the Downing street complex to get him out.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
5 months ago

Fascists, as political psychopaths, don’t do blame, don’t do honour !
Wales does have an honourable government, if you factor out the tories and liberals. We need to focus on that.
Under the present circs. Wakefield and Tiverton are more or less irrelevant to Wales.
I’d say though that the new Wakefield mp is a different kettle of fish to “Sir” Starmer. He’ll have to tone down his speeches a bit!

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago
Reply to  adopted cardi

Mmm Starmer is a weak excuse for a leader. The sooner “Welsh” Labour is totally autonomous the better.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Bryant is right but is as usual, stating the blindingly obvious. What he really meant to say was “cooee! It’s me again jumping aboad the latest bandwagon to show what a great guy I am.”

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